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What Should Trucking Expect from 2022?
The trucking industry had its fair share of ups and downs through the past few years. But with the new year just around the corner, hopes are high that there will be a lot to be cheerful about. From production changes to technological advancements, 2022 looks like it’ll be a good year. Let’s explore some of the trends expected to dominate 2022.
1. High Number of Mergers
The pandemic brought about harsh market conditions. That results in many large and small trucking companies declaring bankruptcy. Other trucking companies went the other way and decided to merge with others to keep their businesses afloat. 2022 may see many more companies going this route. There are two main types of mergers for truckers. The first type is to merge with an existing company. That way they can pool their resources together and hold their own in the market. The second type is when trucking companies merge with a company that works in a different sector. That helps them expand the types of services they can provide. That would help them stay in the game for as long as they need to until the market is favorable once again.
2. Influence of E-commerce
The e-commerce industry has grown rapidly in the past decade and was boosted even more by the pandemic. Today, people prefer online shopping to physically going to a shop. That has helped the trucking industry to a large extent, as e-commerce relies on trucking companies to safely transport their goods. The e-commerce industry is likely to keep growing in 2022, and one can assume that this will mean healthy growth in the trucking industry that drives the e-commerce supply chain.
3. Rising Fuel Prices
Fuel costs have steadily been rising over the past few years and this trend is expected to continue in the new year. Fuel has always been a major factor in accounting for the expenses that trucking companies must incur. The rising costs of fuel have always been an issue for trucking companies. But luckily, today there are many options available as well. Trucking companies can opt to go green and make their fleet run on electricity. They can also try using alternative fuels. Either way, this will be an expense for companies.
4. More Urban Centers
Over the past few years, the country has seen more wide-scale development. Many rural areas are now urban landscapes and that will make traveling easier and faster for truckers. Trucking companies will be able to widen their scope, and they’ll be able to offer their services to a broader customer base. That would help companies generate more business and get more work. Hopefully, this will be a much-needed boost for the trucking industry in the new year.
5. A Shift in Truck Production Locations
Trucks are being produced in new locations across the country. Companies are looking for new locations to be able to meet the current demand for trucks. They also want to conduct their business more smoothly. Locations such as Texas, Illinois, Ohio, California, and Pennsylvania are some of the popular states where truck production will shift to in the coming year. This trend will be common across the entire freight and transportation industry.
6. Pricing Changes
Currently, many trucking companies operate at extremely low rates. This started in 2019 due to the shortage of loads available. Trucking companies slashed their prices out of fear of not getting any work at all. In 2022, this pricing should change. It could go up if the market improves, but it could also sink further if the market goes lower. Either way, it’s predicted that there will be a measurable change in the pricing. It’s tough to predict which direction it will go.
6. Changes in the Market
While the industry isn’t in the best shape right now, many experts feel optimistic that 2022 will be a good year. Many believe that this industry will turn around and start growing sustainably. That’s due to many reasons and one could expect an entire market flip to happen next year. If it does, it will be extremely relieving for all the industry players. That could help save many companies from extinction. It would also help businesses gather the funds needed to upgrade their fleets and match the fuel prices.
7. Technological Improvements
A major reason why experts are enthusiastic about 2022 being a good year for the industry is the technological developments that are taking place. Technological advancements powered by sophisticated software are helping companies cut costs, increase efficiency, and streamline their processes. Smart technology is also helping to improve the vehicles’ functionality and keep drivers safe. Companies are also able to track their orders, thus allowing them to help fleets accomplish their missions safely and efficiently. That also keeps them connected to the customers buying the goods.
9. Data Analytics
One of the major tools that are transforming the industry is data analytics. This will help boost the overall impact that businesses have. These companies will incorporate data analytics and more companies will follow in their footsteps in 2022. This will help collect and transmit accurate data about where the fleet is, the operations it’s engaged in, and identify the areas that require development. It will help them understand how to make their businesses even better.
Technological advancements are the motivating force behind many developments in this industry and it would make sense for fleets to adapt to this as soon as they can. That would help them stay abreast of whatever 2022 brings. Here’s wishing all the truckers out on American highways and streets, a very happy and safe 2022!