There’s a huge amount of change taking place in trucking right now. Trying to keep up with these trends is not an easy task, but that doesn’t stop industry experts and analysts giving it their best shot.
Here’s a quick round up of the changes and trends we can expect to see in 2019.
1 E-commerce will continue to raise the bar
The traditional bricks and mortar store distribution model is slowly being replaced by the e-commerce fulfillment model. The result is a system that requires faster transit times and more precise collection and delivery times. When people talk about the effect this is having on trucking, everything from greater ‘last-mile’ demand to drones is mentioned. Suffice to say, the impact of e-commerce on supply chain operations is only just beginning.
2 Electric vehicles are on their way
Most people have accepted that electric vehicles are part of the industry’s future. There may still be some debate over the cost of operating these vehicles, but most agree that they offer reduced costs in aggregate. The challenge now is to develop the technology and infrastructure to enable longer journeys. The solution could come in the form of an electric/autonomous vehicle hybrid.
3 Technology will continue to transform the industry
Once upon a time, venture capital companies would overlook logistics companies. That is no longer the case. Today, venture capitalists are competing with one another to fund companies looking to introduce technology into the wider transportation space. However, the emerging technologies creating the most buzz are the ones focusing on automating labour-intensive processes such as freight matching, network optimisation, fleet management, dispatch, and driver management.
4 Warehousing is one to watch
E-commerce is driving huge changes in the warehouse sector. In some countries, we are finding that warehouse space is more expensive than office space. With customers expecting almost-immediate delivery times, it’s essential that products are located in urban areas. Warehouses are facing their own worker shortage, so we can expect automated warehouses before we see automated vehicles becoming mainstream.
5 Shifting behaviours
As we move through 2019, shippers and carriers will need to be flexible. As the pressure mounts for shippers (especially those that are not known for their friendliness), we will start to see a change in behaviours. From a carrier point of view, so long as supply and demand remain relatively as is, carriers may start being more selective in the business they take on. For example, shippers that continually make drivers wait may face the axe.
Time is money, after all.
What trends do you expect to see as the year progresses?