Owner Operators constantly face the high costs of fuel among other aspects, but in spite of all that, the trucking industry is a growing economy; the freight volume of this year is a proof of this.
The costs of insurance and low profit margins are part of the obstacles that the industry has faced throughout history. The cost of the equipment that they need continues to grow.
These facts have motivated the decrease of owner operator jobs in the United States. Today there are 3.9 million registered drivers that hold a Commercial Driver License (CDL). The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) stated that four years ago there were somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 owner operators. Today, those numbers dropped to 200,000 owner operators.
The emergence of more freight demand is a positive asset for all of those who are involved in this industry. According to Chris Brady, president of Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting, 70% of all the 200,000 owner operators began as company drivers leaving only 25% to 30% of owner operators that entered this business independently.
The percentage of independent owner operators is susceptible to grow due to the fast increase of driver pay in this segment of the industry. More independent owner operators will surface.
The pay of truck drivers in the truckload sector rises in an average of 8% to 10%; this happens because of the hours of service reform and the shortage in the supply of new drivers. This sector is where most owner operators launch their business.