The trucking industry handles freight for a number of other industries to ensure that companies and customers across the nation get the materials and products they need.
“For truckers and other people in the industry, it’s important to stay on top of upcoming trends to ensure that they understand all the rules of the road,’’ according to American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The trade group lists the following issues as being leading trends for the remainder of this year and the near future:
Goods transported by truck will grow at a rate of about 3 percent a year for the next five years, according to ATA. For freight, trucks will remain the top option for hauling, although planes, ships and trains are continuing to see increases. The industry will continue to grow as the U.S. economy continues to grow.
Higher diesel fuel prices are likely for the remainder of this year. According to the Kiplinger Energy Prices Forecast, the prices have continued to rise, especially due to conflict in Saudi Arabia. The unpredictable nature of political turmoil leads to supply interruptions, and therefore higher prices.
The demand for services continues to rise, which ultimately pushes up trucking rates. The overall process of moving freight is expensive and higher rates help offset the costs and other difficulties that people in the industry face. Truck equipment as well as driver salaries require the costs of conducting business to reflect those needs.
As of this year, the trucking industry is short about 35,000 qualified drivers and the shortage is expected to get worse by 2022. This will ultimately lead to volume issues in the industry, with schedules becoming even more difficult to maintain. ATA estimates that industry leaders need to recruit about 100,000 new drivers every year to keep up with the demand of the industry.
Tonnage is the weight of cargo in tons. It fluctuates every year and will continue to do that this year. As the flow of consumer demand rises and falls, it’s difficult to calculate exact forecasts. However, trucking professionals will see higher levels of tonnage during peak times of the year, which allows them to make more revenue to make up for quieter times of the year.