trucking
  • Six trucking companies have folded in 2019.
  • That has left more than 2,500 truck drivers unemployed.
  • After a hugely profitable year in 2018, this year has seen retailers and manufacturers moving less, according to the Cass Freight Index.
Truck drivers are suffering in 2019 — especially those who own or work at small businesses.

Rates in the spot market, in which retailers and manufacturers buy trucking capacity as they need it rather than through a contract, sank by about 18% year-over-year in June. That has caused truckers like Demetrius Wilburn, a Georgia-based driver, to find themselves unemployed.


Wilburn bought his semitruck four years ago after years of working as a company truck driver. But amid rock-bottom rates, Wilburn wasn't able to make a payment one month — and his truck was repossessed.

"I was only six months away from paying it off," Wilburn told Business Insider. "I'm trying to transition back into law enforcement now — don't want to ever drive trucks again. Definitely not worth it."

The Lexington, Kentucky-based owner-operator Chad Boblett told Business Insider that some truck drivers were seeing a "bloodbath" in just how low rates had become.