Over the past year the trucking industry has seen many changes when it comes to the manner in which they operate and the kind of trucks that are making their way to the market spaces. In the United States alone, trucking has witnessed its ups and downs during the year, all of which have impacted the overall production and development within this industry. There have been numerous things that have impacted the manner in which the industry has functioned and there have been many elements that have changed the way work is done in this industry. Being close to 2021, it is time to take a look at some of the trends that are likely to surface in the coming year.
CARRIER BANKRUPTCY. Over the past few months, several large and small trucking companies have closed their doors due to the harsh market conditions that are currently prevalent in this industry. One of the reasons for these hard times is simply a shortage of goods moving. Retail companies are moving fewer goods, causing many trucking companies to fail from a lack of work. The trend is not likely to change in the coming year unless there is a large spike in the retail industry and a significant increase in the flow of freight.
IMPROVEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY. Technology has caused widespread improvements to a number of industries and the trucking industry is no exception. From the corporate offices of trucking outfits to the trucks themselves, technology has been improving. Corporate offices are beginning to use a number of software programs to help make their operations more efficient and streamlined. The trucks being used now are equipped with far better technology than ever before, and more trucks are beginning to incorporate “smart” technology to improve their functionality. The concept of “tracking an order” is also something that has caused many companies to set up new systems to help them keep track of the goods they are hauling, and this information must also be conveyed to customers.
HIGH NUMBER OF MERGERS. While a large number of companies within this industry are going under as a result of the harsh market conditions, many are choosing an alternate route and merging with other companies. When it comes to mergers, there are two main routes that trucking companies are likely to consider – merging with an existing trucking company to pool their resources together and withstand the market, or merging with a company of a different sector to expand the range of services that they can provide.
A MARKET FLIP. While the trucking industry might not be in the best market situation currently, there are some experts who are enthusiastic and optimistic about 2021 and all that it is likely to bring. Because of the decline that the industry experienced in 2019 and 2020, many believe that the industry is likely to turn around and experience a gradual increase as a result of the new developments that are coming to this industry. A market flip is expected to emerge in 2021 and is something that can truly help the entire industry.
CHANGES IN PRICING. The rates that truckers are currently charging are considered to be incredibly low, so much so that truckers earn far less than the average American. During 2019 and 2020, the rates that truckers worked with experienced a significant decline because of the shortage of jobs. Trucking companies started to charge less for fear of not being able to get work at all. In 2021, the pricing that trucking companies are likely to charge depend on the economy – if the market continues to decline, companies are going to have to lower their prices even further, but if the industry experiences positive growth, the prices can rise back up to what they were before the decline.
INFLUENCE OF E-COMMERCE. Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry has grown tremendously, and we currently live in a world where people prefer to shop online than in-store. The wide variety available online, as well as fast delivery, has made this industry bloom and has helped it become one of the most successful segments in business today. However, it is important to note that e-commerce cannot function without the help of the trucking industry. This industry is dependent on truckers to get their goods from one place to another, and this means that improvements in the e-commerce industry will lead to improvements within the trucking industry. Because the e-commerce industry is likely to grow further in 2021, one can be hopeful that the trucking industry will also experience some positive growth along with it.
RISING FUEL COSTS. Over the years, fuel costs have only risen because of the limited nature of this resource, and this always has an impact on the trucking industry. Fuel has always been one of the bigger factors when accounting for the expenses that trucking companies must incur on a daily basis, but today trucking companies have more options, such as alternative fuel trucks or even electric trucks, to cut the costs they spend on fuel. However, this does mean that an investment needs to be made for these new vehicles, which might not be an expense many companies can currently afford to make.
URBANIZATION. One of the beneficial developments that the industry is likely to experience in the coming year is the growth of urbanization. Over the past few years, most of the country has experienced wide-scale development, with most rural areas being converted into urban landscapes. This means that it is easier for trucks to be able to traverse through parts of the country that they weren’t able to traverse through before. This means that the trucking industry is now able to widen their scope and reach and is able to offer even more of its services to a much wider customer base, thereby helping them generate significantly more business.
USE OF DATA ANALYTICS. Data analytics is an important tool that businesses around the world are looking to incorporate and is something that has helped boost the overall impact that businesses have. Many companies in the industry have already realized the benefit of incorporating data analytics into the work they do, and more companies are likely to follow in their footsteps. In 2021, data analytics is not only going to be applied to the work at a corporate level, but also for the actual vehicles that are on the road. Several vehicles are now being developed with technology that can send information to a source regarding the route and operation. This data can then be analyzed to help the company identify areas that can be improved and help make their operation more efficient.