The Year Thus Far: Trucking in 2018

Trucking is an industry that can fluctuate wildly, influenced by changes in the economy, weather events, advancements in technology, regulation changes and more. This year has been an eventful one for the industry, ripe with both challenges and improvements. Let’s look back at what 2018 has brought to the trucking industry thus far.


Despite a number of challenges, the United States trucking industry as a whole has seen a large amount of growth. An August forecast from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) approximates a 4.2 percent rise in volume for U.S. truck transportation in 2018. Much of this growth has been fueled by a manufacturing industry rebound and a healthy economy, but shippers are still struggling to fully meet demands as a result of a different shortage…


The U.S. transportation industry is currently short upwards of 50,000 drivers. According to the ATA, if the shortage continues at its current rate, the industry will be short by approximately 170,000 drivers by the year 2026. A large population of aging drivers combined with a decline in recruiting new younger drivers is thought to be the main factor. Current age regulations for truck drivers may be partially to blame for the difficulty in recruitment, and industry officials are considering lowering the age requirements, among other things, to combat the shortage.


2018 is the first year that the electronic logging (ELD) requirement has been fully in effect for all trucking companies across the country. The official compliance date was December 18, 2017, but some carriers received a 90-day extension. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created an ELD checklist this year to assist trucking companies in becoming compliant with the regulations.

In California, whose three shipping ports process more than 40% of U.S. shipping container traffic, a new law was signed to help protect the state’s approximately 25,000 port truck drivers from wage theft and illegal pay deductions. Under S.B. 1402, retailers that hire trucking companies with unpaid legal judgments against them will be found jointly liable should those companies commit new violations of state labor and employment laws.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the USDOT (PHMSA) issued an administrative decision to preempt California meal and rest law break. According to the PHMSA, California meal and rest break laws create unnecessary – and in some cases unsafe – delays in the truck transportation of hazardous materials.

More changes are expected to come to the trucking industry in 2019. Stay tuned to the ATM Insurance blog to stay updated on the news and regulations that affect your trucking clients as well as more information on our wholesale trucking insurance programs.

About American Team Managers Insurance Services

Founded in 1998 by Chris C. Michaels, American Team Managers Insurance Services (ATM) has provided wholesale and MGA services to more than 5,000 independent insurance agents throughout the United States. Our goal is to establish close, long-term relationships with our agency partners and insurance carriers and provide competitive products for the Exclusive and Non-Exclusive markets that we serve. For more information on our products and services, give us a call at (714) 414-1200 to speak to a representative.