Border Opened to Mexican Truckers
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed that Mexican truckers will be permitted to cross Southern U.S. borders to haul goods into the United States. Opening the borders to carriers is considered to be a milestone in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The change in policy ends a 20-year transportation and political dispute. Though there are disagreements over this change in policy, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx claims that the opening of borders to certain carriers is a step in the right direction with regards to the transportation industry and United States economy.
“Opening the door to a safe cross-border trucking system with Mexico is a major step forward in strengthening our relationship with the nation’s third largest trading partner, and in meeting our obligations under NAFTA,” Foxx said.
American trucking companies have been authorized to haul in Mexico since 2007. There are currently five American companies who are authorized to transport goods into Mexico, according to the DOT.
Truck Driver Salaries on the Rise
Truck drivers have never typically pulled in six-figure salaries, but recent data shows that they are making more money than expected. The American Trucking Association reported last month that the median driver pay ranged from $46,000 to $73,000 in 2014. Certain types of drivers, such as dedicated truckload drivers and refrigerated truck drivers typically made more than $50,000. In 2013, the average driver salary was $38,700, a figure even higher than the overall average yearly salary of $35,082. This data proves that it is becoming more profitable to be a truck driver. With the driver shortage, analysts don’t predict the yearly salary to fall any time soon.
Cost of Diesel Remains High Despite Low Oil Prices
With the national average for unleaded fuel under $2 for the first time in years, the majority of people on the road are happy to be saving money. Truck drivers, however, are not seeing the same level of relief on the road as consumers. Diesel averages still average about $3 per gallon. So what gives? Diesel sales have less of a correlation to the price of oil than does gasoline. Also, the demand for diesel prices stays high worldwide. There are no electric or hybrid 18-wheelers, so with no alternatives, the majority of ground-based transportation continues to rely on diesel.