Trucking industry heading toward a downturn?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) --- A recent Business Insider article indicates a decline in the trucking industry. North American companies are shipping fewer goods in June 2019 compared to the same time in 2018, according to the Cass Freight Index.

The dip in freight being transported doesn't surprise Kenneth Cubberley, the president of Keystone Logistics, a South Bend-based trucking company.

"All of the indicators we're seeing in the industry is that we're heading for a downturn," Cubberley reported. "I don't want to say recession, but it very well could be."

Cubberley added the trucking industry is a good measure of economic performance nationally. He also said the tariffs placed on goods from foreign countries aren't helping the industry.

"What people tend to sometimes ignore is, whether we like it or not, we're a global economy," he said. "When you affect something over here, it affects something [over there]."

At least 75% of corporate revenue at Keystone Logistics comes from the spot market, where the company brokers transportation for other companies. The rest of the revenue is derived from the company operating its own fleet of trucks, which usually drive the same number of miles each year, Cubberley cited.

He said his company will weather the industry changes.

"We certainly can't, all of a sudden, get rid of trucks. We're not going to do that," Cubberley said. "We just learn how to deal with it."

Cubberley said a decline in consumer spending hurts the trucking industry. However, federal data shows Americans spent more money
between May and June 2019.