The market is harsh, especially if you have been in the business less than 5 years. No one has the skills to predict what will happen next in this industry because all of the experts were raised, educated, and gained their professional experience in conditions where energy and oil prices were expected to continually raise in value through out time. We are at a point in time where the unexpected is almost the expected. I am not talking about just you and I, my fellow trucker, but the experts and decision makers on national and international levels.
2016 is election year and this does not help to get things moving because all of the financial groups are holding back with big projects. Everyone is playing the waiting game because some projects will be more profitable than others based on the direction the next President will be steering the country in. But this too will pass just like everything else passes with time.
First quarter is always the slowest and in 2016 it is expected to be slower than ever, since the tax returns are delayed and general public does not have sufficient cash to spend. No one is buying, no one is manufacturing, and guess what? No freight. Or at least not enough for everyone and this is dragging shipping prices down.
Surviving 2016 will be quite a challenge for many, many companies will shut the door, and many owner operators will quit chasing the dream. But there is some good news for the rest of us: The first thing I’ll point out is the fact that most of us with 10 or more years trucking experience remember when diesel was priced as low as it is now and we were getting less money per mile. Most of us remember the days as “A Gold Age of Trucking.” Second is the fact that there is plenty of freight to haul, it may not pay as much as it was a year or two ago, but again remember when it took $800-$900 to fill-up your tanks? How much is it now? Make less, spend less and boom, you can still bring home the same old sweet $2,500 every week.
Take a load and go make some money, while less experienced business rivals are hesitating and pushing themselves out of the arena of big dogs.
Trucking will always be trucking, it will not be easy, never was, never will be. Bad times will not last forever! Be flexible with all the seasonal demands as it is just around the corner. Stay positive and keep them wheels spinning.