RV Transportation Issue Improves in Elkhart
Three months ago this week, recreational vehicle industry leaders gathered at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., to discuss a serious problem.
As reported by the Elkhart Truth, approximately 25,000 to 35,000 finished RVs were parked around the area, awaiting transport to dealerships throughout the country, but an estimated 2,000 new drivers were needed to move them. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) encouraged RV transport firms to sign up with a new employment site.
Since then, the shortage has lessened but still exists, transport firms and industry officials said.
“It’s gotten better,” said Dianne Farrell, vice president of government affairs with RVIA. “We figure the backlog should be gone 90% by the end of July and 100% by the end of August.”
The backlog is lessening partly because it always does by late summer, once the spring and early summer sales season have peaked. But Farrell said a significant number of firms started using the website. The Internet spread local news coverage of the driver shortage. And RV makers started paying temporarily higher transport fees.
“It’s definitely improved,” said Andy Swain, office manager at Indiana Transport. He said there is still a shortage but it’s not as severe. Their inventory is now less than 500 vehicles, down from about 1,600 three months ago. It now takes one to two weeks to deliver a vehicle, down from four weeks.
Swain credited the higher pay, which increased typically by about 20 cents per mile.
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