Here are some changes expected in the trucking and logistics industry in 2019:
Driver shortages will continue and even increase
There has been a years long shortage of Truck Drivers because of the rise in demand for drivers by most trucking and logistics companies. The number of qualified truck drivers in the United States over the years has continued to dwindle due to the aging workforce. The problem is expected to escalate in 2019. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the major reason why there has been a shortage of truck drivers can be attributed to demographics. In the United States, the average age of a truck driver is 55, and most of them want to retire after 20 years of service, which implies that the shortage will continue throughout 2019. However, there are indications that some driverless trucks will be deployed to the United States over the next few years to help reduce and minimize demand. There are also efforts to allow younger drivers, women, and minorities operate in interstate and international trucking. For instance, in countries like Canada, Indian-American Sikhs are now allowed to drive trucks, marking a significant change.
Blockchain and Big data
Some expect blockchain technologies to revolutionize trucking and logistics: At present, there is a high demand for Information Technology advances due to the large number of importers and exporters trading globally. In the United States there are over 408, 000 small and mid-sized importers and exporters who are using IT services in their logistics operation. In 2019, it is also expected that both large- and small-scale importers and exporters will take advantage of big data and blockchain technology in growing a safer supply chain globally.
Blockchain technology will make a huge impact on trucking and logistics; it will not only make the supply chain safer, but it will also increase transparency, reduce time spent on paperwork, and maintain access to original information while keeping the data from being tampered with. Big data, on the other hand, enables importers and exporters working with freight companies to automate processes and minimize human error.
As the hype surrounding cryptocurrency settles into a more believable reality, the hope is that it will create a safe payment system. The use of cryptocurrency as an alternative payment system is expected by some to be widely accepted leading to a safer payment system that takes customers privacy seriously. This new payment system will also accelerate the trucking and logistics industry because shippers can pay for their goods in seconds and freight companies can also serve as intermediaries that make the payments more flexible.
In 2019, it is also expected that drivers will choose to work for a small fleet rather than a large onc because of the perception that small fleets are easier to work for and more flexible.
The recent technological advancements all over the globe are clear indications that change has come to the trucking and logistics industries and all stakeholder such as importers, exporters and freight companies need to take charge of the changes or be caught off guard.