One of the most guaranteed things whenever planning for your business, career or future investments is always change. This is what the trucking industry faced in 2017 across the entire globe. It also goes without saying that some of the trends that dominated commercial driving will also go on to present new challenges and opportunities in the new year.
Let’s take a look at what these trends were and what difference they made this year.
Finding ways to increase efficiencies
Regardless of the fact that the trucking industry moved forward and evolved with new trends being introduced, it still faced age-old trends that remain relevant and present. These traditional inclinations presented challenges and trucking companies had to find ways to work around them. One of the trends was the need for shipments to be as compact as possible through combination and cost-effective technology that would increase efficiencies. The obvious and given solutions were to use GPS and other smart technology to assist in organizing fleets and finding out locations of the vehicles at any given time. Keeping in mind that development of new technologies is set to continue to grow, it will be better that companies be up to date with what will be the next most significant tool for trucking companies and related industries in 2018.
Serving young and old drivers
Having a shortage of drivers continued to be a challenge in 2017. It’s been established that in the next 3 years, the trucking industry will work hard to find qualified candidates that will fill current positions and look for future recruits who will replace old drivers set to retire soon. What became a starting point however this year was to hire new drivers while still retaining old drivers who may be considering leaving the industry. This of course was a delicate matter as you need to assess two very different groups of people and still find a way to strike a balance. Employees are comfortable knowing that they will be compensated accordingly; be able to find middle ground between work and personal life; and be reassured that they work for a company that puts them first. The hurdle for 2018 will still be trying to maintain a strong workforce while the transportation industry tries to overcome the fact that there are many unqualified candidates and a dire need for quality trucking leads.
More industry interdependence
This leads us to our next point which was encouraged by the challenges that the current driver shortage caused. The epidemic increases the costs of operation each year and partnering with the best vendors in the industry helps decrease them. This year saw the development of many industry relationships where companies leaned on each other for valuable industry experience and advice too. Such led to major insight and an advantage of staying up to date on matters such as late compliance updates.
Meeting government regulations and laws
Speaking of compliance, companies carried on with keeping up with the most recent laws and regulations being introduced, changed or eliminated by the state or governing bodies. Trucking trends that may include the use of electronic logbooks, overtime laws, tracking methods and safety regulations are constant and ever crucial to understand and meet. Role players in the industry made certain to communicate and stay abreast concerning any news and updates.
Self-driving vehicles and automation
Finally, the most talked about technological invention started taking over this year. An idea that was once a farfetched notion is reaching reality stages and self-driving and automated vehicles will be introduced to the public sooner than realized. Companies such as Nikola and Tesla, Google, Uber and even Amazon have been experimenting with robotic deliveries and have injected huge sums of capital behind this prospect. While they may not take over the industry entirely, automated vehicles still will be something that makes a difference in public transportation. Drones will also possibly be delivering packages to doorsteps in the near future, making it clear that automated future will be leading – whether shipping freight or consumer packages.
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