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43.5% of new drivers entered the market in the last two years, according to the First Annual State of Independent Drivers and Small Fleets

MIAMI, April 27, 2022 — SmartHop, the smart trucking solution that empowers independent trucking businesses to earn more and stress less, today released its first annual “State of Independent Truckers and Small Fleets” report, a survey of 1,000 American truckers aimed at better understanding what keeps them up at night, how they have overcome roadblocks, and what they see on the horizon for the trucking industry.

The report found three key areas where truckers needed the most support from industry vendors: finding discounted fuel (62.3%) and insurance (55.2%), along with support finding and booking high-quality loads (63.4%).

“In the last two years, truckers have experienced amazing spot market rates, which meant better profits and margins. But now as we enter into a market downturn coupled with increased fuel prices, owner-operators and small fleets need more support than ever,” said Guillermo Garcia, CEO and co-founder of SmartHop. “As champions of independent truckers and carriers, SmartHop set out to understand what’s plaguing the trucking industry’s most critical segment and where we can help improve their topline and margins so they can better compete with their larger peers.”

SmartHop’s report found that 43.5% of respondents have been on the job for two years or fewer, indicating they entered the industry during the pandemic when many Americans reassessed their career paths. More than a third of all respondents joined the profession because of the pay (35.3%) and over one-quarter (26.7%) cited a love for the open road.

However, retaining Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders remains a challenge. Half of all respondents (50.4%) said they had considered quitting in the last six months — with male drivers (52.2%) slightly more apt to quit than women (47.9%) — and citing the following top three reasons:

  • Long and irregular work hours (65.1%),
  • Lack of stability from a fluctuating spot market (64.1%),
  • Burnout from higher pressure and supply chain demands (63.7%).

As operational costs rise, independent trucking companies will need support in all aspects of their business, from growing their fleets to recruiting and retaining drivers. Innovation in trucking technology has been a boon to many independent trucking companies, helping nearly half (42.6%) of truckers improve the quality of their jobs, the report finds. Across all three segments of drivers surveyed — small carriers, company drivers and owner-operators — the top three benefits trucking tech and apps have provided include: more visibility into their routes with fewer calls (57.0%), improved margins (55.6%) and access to the same resources as larger companies (54.0%).

Trucking technology impacted each cohort differently. Small carriers, for example, were more likely to see improved margins (64.8%) and more visibility into their routes (62.3%) with trucking apps than any other segments. Meanwhile, company drivers were the only segment that didn’t cite “more visibility” as a top-three impact of tech.

For more information and to view the full report and findings, please visit: http://www.smarthop.com/road-conditions-report

Methodology
This report is based on the results of a survey to 1,000 respondents, including owners of small fleets, those with small fleet drivers, and independent owner-operators. The survey was conducted via Pollfish from Dec. 23, 2021, to Jan. 7, 2022, on behalf of SmartHop.

About SmartHop
North American truckers move billions of tons of freight annually, and SmartHop is here to move with them as their trusted copilot. Founded for truckers by truckers, SmartHop uses artificial intelligence to deliver smart load recommendations, full-service dispatch, and fintech products for small trucking companies. We handle everything truckers need so they can focus on the road. For more information, visit: www.smarthop.com.

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