III. Industry Analysis
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The Trucking industry’s performance mostly follows the United States economy, so increases in consumer spending, manufacturing output and trade volumes have created high demand for industry services over the past five years. Further, increases in fuel prices positively affect the industry as revenue typically increases in line with fuel costs, as operators are dependent on fuel surcharge revenue. Higher manufacturing output and commodity prices have also presented another opportunity for operators.
Over the next five years, recovering manufacturing activity and greater retail spending are expected to ensure higher freight volumes for the Trucking industry, as retail inventory expands to satisfy growing consumer spending.
Further, rising trade volumes will likely increase shipments to and from US ports, requiring more trucking companies to move goods. These improvements are partially noted in the rise of the freight transportation services index, which is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 3.3%. As global and domestic shipping rates rise, the per-mile value of industry services is anticipated to rebound.