New car sales have endured all manner of impediments since The Great Recession began in 2008, and for various reasons including everything from restricted lending by banks to strikes and Acts of God. Next up among the bugbears could be a shortage of car haulers, which were pulled from active duty when there simply weren't cars to haul.

However, with 2012 sales riding a projected wave of 15 million in sales for the year, the opposite has happened: too many new vehicles to be shipped paired with a paucity of tractor-trailers and trains to do the shipping. Estimates put the disparity between demand and supply at 1.7 million vehicles – the kind of number that could make a dent that won't buff out.

On the other hand, shipping companies are buying all the haulers they can, it's only March, and no one knows how long the superheated sales will continue. Yet even if the hauler shortage is remedied, there could be a shortage of drivers. According to Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, finding truckers to fill the drivers' seats will become more difficult since pay hasn't kept up with the economy.

Follow the jump to see the Autoline Daily report (skip to 1:18 for the car hauler story).



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Jeff Wood
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make that a shortage of trained drivers. You can't just put anyone with a CDL in the seat; it takes time to learn how to load or unload a portable parking lot, without damaging the cars being hauled. Pay will need to rise for sure to keep the good ones hauling, and new ones learning. Most domestic cars arrive by rail within a few hundred miles of the dealership, from what I know (used to haul cars.) I hauled imports (Volvo, Kia/Hyundai, Porsche, Maseratti, Audi) from the port(s) to the dealer(s), and sometimes grabbed the Fords and Chevys from the rail yards for the backhaul. Also, @Daewootech: If you can go get your car for the $500 destination charge from the factory, have at it....
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is more good news. Shortages of basic equipment means that the economy is improving. This means that new car carriers will either have to be build or old ones have to be refurbished, both of which employ people and down the line, this increases demand for other stuff as well. Then that secondary demand creates tertiary demand for other things and on and on it goes. That's how a country works its way out of a recession ... the only problem is that over the past 3 decades we have allowed so many of our things to be overseas that any increased demand here in the US, just ends up boosting demand in factories in China, and none of the secondary economic boost is felt here at home.
        Jeff Wood
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I think it's safe to say that most all US car haulers are built in the US. Granted, the tractor might be a Volvo, but the rack and such behind are Boydstun or someone else here in the States. But yeah, since we don't really have any major manufacturing capability anymore, your point is still valid.
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jeff Wood
          I used to think terms like "it's safe to say that _____ is built in the US" but its a crazy world out there, and quite honestly, I don't think that anything is really safe to say that its "definitely" made in the US. The greed of US corporations is just too damn high to automatically assume that their manufacturing hasn't been shipped elsewhere just to save a couple of bucks. Sad but true.
          Independent
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jeff Wood
          Cotrell is the largest manufacture of car hauling trailers. They are located in Georgia and manufactured in Georgia. Boydstun has a much smaller market share than Cortrell. Volvo is also not a common truck for carhaulers Peterbilt, Western Star, and Freightliner are the most popular choices. Peterbilt by far has the largest maket share. Yes, most are built in the US. A very common headrack (the slot that goes over the cab) in made in North Florida.
      Trent
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about a fly and drive program for car companies based in the country you live in?
      daewootech
      • 2 Years Ago
      any excuse for those "destination charges"
      Lusnia
      • 2 Years Ago
      I call B.S. on this, there are 100+ empty car haulers in the OKC area. Maybe there aren't drivers but that can be attributed to the gas/oil drilling boom.
      JIM J
      • 2 Years Ago
      JIM J I travel a lot on TR-80 (formerly I-80, now Truck Route 80). Most of the vehicle haulers I see are carrying used, plated cars. For longer distances, it's less expensive to have someone haul your vehicle than drive. Obviously I'm not alone in that thinking. Truck drivers will go where the business and money reside. I'm thinking perhaps new vehicle contracts, particularly long standing contracts, may not be as lucrative as as hauling vehicles "individually." 7 minutes ago
      Jason Allen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd gladly fly to Detroit to buy my Focus EV and drive it home to Seattle - oh wait, that'd take a frickin month! I'll gladly drive the hauler, full of Focus EV's, all the way home in Seattle if I'd get it before fall. September is too far away still! I hope this doesn't impact my wait further.
      Top Rank Auto
      • 2 Years Ago
      There are a shortage of haulers on the road especially state to state hauls. There are around 20,000+ vehicles needing to be shipped daily! Source: http://www.toprankautotransport.com/
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