The increasing needs and demands of companies and consumers have led to a boom in the trucking industry. And, no doubt trucking industry trends have completely transformed the scenario of the trucking industry. The trucking industry includes operations like distribution of goods, production, and delivering goods. Various types of truckers are present in the market according to the need of the deliverable goods. This includes tanker trucks, refrigerated freight, freight haulers, flatbed trucks, etc. These are responsible for the delivery of goods ranging from daily needs, medicine, raw materials, and imported goods.
According to a report by Business Wire, the global market for freight trucking was 4.2 trillion dollars in 2020. They are projected to increase to 5.5 trillion dollars by 2027. Over the years, trucking industry trends have modified the way the system works. The trucking industry can never run out of demand even after a depression or downfall in the economy. The trucking industry is responsible for a major chunk of the GDP in many countries. In the US alone, the industry creates employment for millions of job seekers. In 2017, the US had a huge revenue from the industry with surpassed the GDP of about 150 countries. Major shopping chains like Walmart have the greatest demand and hire most workers. In this whole situation, the haulers and contractors got benefits from the trucking company.
Some of the trucking industry trends in 2021:
Freight and logistics management has seen huge technological advancement over the years. Trucks now incorporate smart technology like TMS that helps consumers track their orders. Machine learning has increased activity in management. Incorporating current newer technologies can also help in fleet management. Some of the trends that are transforming the trucking industry using innovation are-
- Dynamic routing shows the fastest route available and informs the drivers beforehand of any congestion issues.
- Blockchain ledgers make the supply chain consistent and mistake-free. This is done by verifying the data and increasing transparency among the concerned parties.
- Robotic process automation has reduced the need for manual processes. RPA free up employee and business executives’ time and resources that can be used to add value to their organization.
- TMS also helps customers to be updated about their orders and get information about the state of their goods.
Incorporation of data analytics:
Trucking industry companies now use Artificial Intelligence tools to improve decision-making processes effectively and provide ease to customers. These tools simplify complex data which increases supply chain efficiency. For instance, electronic logging devices in trucks monitor the mileage, location, and fuel consumed by drivers. This data can be analyzed to bring in measures to improve the productivity of the truck company. The benefit and ease of using data analytics have led to more companies adopt such strategies. For instance, such systems help inform the source regarding the operations currently undertaken. Areas that need to be redeveloped and improved can be analyzed by data analytical tools.
Harsh market conditions have led to the trucking companies stopping business. Thousands of truckers lost their jobs in 2020 due to less movement of goods. Lack of work has led to a decrease in profitability in the industry. This has further led to low investments. Bankruptcy has disrupted freight management continuity. This trend can be changed when trucking companies diversify carrier needs and companies increase their transportation needs. Celadon and Northeastern motor freight are some examples of shutdowns.
Increased Collaborations and Mergers:
More than a business strategy, mergers are increasing to save the overall industry. The harsh economic conditions of the year 2020-21 have led to unfortunate circumstances. This is why many companies are engaging with one another to combine resources and survival plans. By doing this, these companies aim to expand to different business areas or stay in the market till the situation improves.
Truck driver shortages:
Driver shortage rates have been increasing in the trucking industry for many years now. Factors like low wages, poor working conditions, restricted driving hours, unfair fines, etc. are reducing available drivers. This is because new entrants are not willing to opt for a profession of a truck driver. Also, even though the new entrants are present in some quantity, they are not experienced enough to work for certain areas in the industry. The increasing number of old drivers that are on the verge of retiring or have retired further escalates this shortage.
Change in pricing:
Due to a shortage of work specially in recent times, truckers have been reducing their pay. If the trends remain negative and demands continue to fall, companies would have to reduce their pays further. If growth trends and the demand for transportation increase, the trucking industry might increase profits.
The e-commerce influence:
One of the most recent trends that are transforming the trucking industry immensely is the rise of the e-commerce business. The trend has been increasing over the past few years but recently due to the coronavirus pandemic increased multifold. As people prefer to shop online due to greater efficiency, the e-commerce industry has been making huge revenues. The major demand of this business is transportation. E-commerce websites depend on the trucking industry to deliver their goods. The online shopping trend is not reducing anytime soon which can be seen as a positive sign for growth in the trucking industry.
With the increasing development of cities, there is a huge chance of underdeveloped areas to urbanize. This might lead to the development of better roads, increased safety, and convenience. This might profit the trucking industry as they might increase their customer base in areas not reachable before. By creating urban demands in low-developed areas, the trucking industry can increase its scope of business.
These innovations or technologies are underway or have not been fully implemented and might affect the industry in the future. Some of them are-
- Autonomous trucks in the future can help mitigate accidents and collisions, and employ warning systems like lane departure and nearby vehicles.
- Similarly, self-driving trucks reduce the burden on the human driver. Some places like warehouses and mine sites already use self-driving vehicles. In these trucks, the driver only has to run system checks. These can prove to be efficient and accident-free.
- Electrical trucks can ensure fuel efficiency that can reduce the costs of the trucking company and increase profitability. They are also efficient from an environmental perspective.
- 3D printing- There is a possibility of supply chains getting disrupted due to 3D printing. It might reduce the need for transport in the electronics, appliances, apparel industries.
The trucking industry is responsible for the smooth functioning of the economy. Various sectors of the economy like e-commerce, grocery stores, hospitals, construction, and heavy industry might stop functioning if the trucking industry collapses. Also, factories that require raw materials have them transported mainly by trucks. It means that the trucking industry acts as the backbone of the whole economy and Agg Connect being the best trucking company in Indianapolis is contributing to it. The trucking industry might get overlooked as a professional career but that doesn’t undermine the demand and opportunity it provides. Therefore, it is important to save the industry and study trucking industry trends to strategize growth plans.