United States of America is currently experiencing an increase in industrial production with an annual increment of +6.5% in 2011 as seen from a report by U.S. Federal Reserve and ATA. This has a great implication on the truck transport industry since it offers most of the transport services of goods produced from the said production industries. Therefore, this fact acts as an opportunity for Huffman Trucking Company which should be harnessed and to do so the company should diversify in its operational area and establish more facilities in other states rather than the 4 it has current established.
Despite the high industrial growth, the U.S. goods export is foreseen to reduce from the current more than $100,000 million dollars to less than the value in the next three years. This implicates that the transport industry will not have much to transport in US ports for export since most of the products are used within the country. In other words in three years to come there will be high demand in transportation of goods within the country. Consequently, Huffman Trucking Company will take a strategic move of focusing in transportation within the country by establishing many facilities in other states not reached.
Bureau of Economic Analysis and ATA have established that wages/salaries of employees have rose from $5,100 billions in 2010 to $5,400 billions in 2011. This fact will affect Huffman Trucking Company by causing an increase in the salaries paid to employees thus reducing the company’s net profit. To mitigate this emerging threat the company will increase the cost of transportation.
The current petroleum fuel crisis and predicted future worse crisis will have a major impact in the truck transporting industry since petroleum fuel is the major source of fuel used by trucks. The company will embrace other sources of fuel like use of biodiesel in its trucks to mitigate the threat.
Despite being many players in the commercial carrier business, the field remains highly fragmented with many different companies providing different kinds of trucking services. The major competitors for Huffman Trucking Company are companies with fleet of trucks but are mainly in the food industry. Therefore, they don’t pose a major threat to the company since Huffman Trucking Company is in the non edible industrial products. Never the less, there a few truck transportation companies in that field who are considerably increasing in the market. To check on this Huffman Trucking Company will employ ‘just in time ‘strategy by installing and using the new automated loading and offloading machines hence reducing the time spent in loading and offloading. The company will be conducing annual market research to understand the competitors’ intelligence and make informed strategic decision on that matter.
Legal and ethical issues
Legal measures have been put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to regulate trucking industry operations. FMCSA has set limitations in the number of hours a truck driver may drive. Trucks have specific roads and highways that they drive upon and the drivers have a 0.04% definition of blood alcohol concentration which is lower than the regulation for other drivers. In some states trucks have special speed limits and carrying weight limitations. It is evident that this rules and regulations will affect Huffman Trucks Company negatively in that they make it hard to run the business with many restrictions. The company will increase its number of trucks so that it can compensate for losses which might be incurred due to such regulations.
Apart from the high drunkenness regulation of truck drivers, there are other ethical regulations set to streamline the industry. These are;
- Employment background check: This helps in verifying the competence and conduct of the driver.
- Supplier/vendor screening: Looking at the integrity and capabilities of potential suppliers
- Driving records: This enables the employer to have drivers with clean and valid driving documents and records.
- Substance abuse testing: Helping in reducing the incidences of accidents caused by drug or alcohol use.
- Employment physicals: They help in ensuring employees are properly placed with respect to their physical health and enhance their performance.
These ethical issues will create a good opportunity for Huffman Trucking Company in getting the best personnel and gaining confidence and credence from its customers
Like many industries, computers, internet, fiber optic cables and advanced satellites have posted a great impact in the truck transportation industry. In general internet helps enterprises to discover new opportunities in sales and marketing, despite being 15 times less expensive than paper transactions.
Considering the limitation and regulations in weight and size found in this industry, computerized analyzers have been made and used which have proved to be more reliable and efficient. Satellites have been installed on the top of trucks to enhance communication and geo-location of the truck. These satellites enable drivers to input bills of loading to simple texts and send them to their employers or other inspecting agencies. The GPS satellite receiver in the other hand enables one to locate the truck anywhere in the world thus, minimizing the risk of theft. Although there is a weakness in Huffman Trucking Company of outsourcing 100% of its information systems support there is still a need for more use of technology. To mitigate the outsourcing problem the company will employ information and technology experts to install, monitor, repair and maintain information systems used by the trucks and in the offices. This move will reduce the cost of installing and maintaining information systems incurred from outsourcing. The ICT experts will help in establishment of a database on the company’s operations e.g. on driver’s log and fleet maintenance. A network platform will be created connecting all the facilities in the country hence ease in communication and transacting.