Trucking Trends & Changes to Watch for in 2019
It is the New Year once again, and time to look at truck driving trends for 2019. If you listened to what the media are saying, it might seem like the perfect year to stay home with the curtains closed. The good news is that professional truckers certainly do not need to do that.
- 1 Trucking Trends & Changes to Watch for in 2019
- 1.1 Still a Driver Shortage
- 1.2 Better Deal for Owner-Drivers
- 1.3 2019 Likely to Bring a Mixed Economy
- 1.4 The ELD Cuts Trucking Supply as Demand Grows
- 1.5 Electric Trucks Debut on Delivery and Intermodal Routes
- 1.6 The Internet of Things Will Flood Logistics with Data
- 1.7 Wireless Networks to Begin 5G Rollout in 2019
- 2 The Trucking Trends are Still Optimistic for 2019
Still a Driver Shortage
While it may seem like a tough logistic market for shippers and supply chains, it may be great news for the guys and gals behind the wheel. The changing expectations of the younger generation, as well as the paperwork and ELD restrictions on truckers, mean that it is difficult for companies to recruit and retain new drivers to replace senior truckers as they retire.
The trucking companies are beginning to offer better truck driver benefits such as investing in premium sleeper cabs, allowing family members and pets to ride along. Additionally, if the demand for shipping services stays high, freight companies will have to raise trucker pay and pass on the costs to customers.
Better Deal for Owner-Drivers
The Supreme Court of the United States listened to a case about a contract trucker who took on his employers, a Springfield Missouri transportation company. This class-action lawsuit decision is big news for truck driving jobs, particularly owner-drivers.
The driver was under a contract as an owner-driver while the company expected him to act like an employee. The Justices unanimously said that companies couldn’t have it both ways. The result of this ruling is that 2019 will bring better work conditions for owner-drivers.
2019 Likely to Bring a Mixed Economy
The past decade had steady economic growth with an extra boost in the last two years. While trucking looks set to keep growing, there are signs that growth in 2019 will slow down. Issues in politics and trade along with a mildly overheated stock market mean the economy may have peaked last year.
However, the manufacturing sector is still doing well, and all the products have to be delivered, at least in part, by road. So, if the economy does slow down and you get a pink slip in the coming year, it might be the perfect time to look at how you can earn your commercial drivers license and get on the road; the shortage of truckers and the options you have when you hold a Class-A CDL.
The ELD Cuts Trucking Supply as Demand Grows
There were some dire warnings that the new rules and mandatory electronic logging devices would be bad for trucking. As the new regulations and requirements went into effect, trucking companies learned to live with them. ELD monitoring has cramped the earning ability of some drivers.
The flip side is that the industry has even more pressure to put new drivers on the road. Tracking with ELD has not changed the demand for shipping. In 2018 the market for LTL trips grew faster than in previous years, and it looks set to keep increasing in 2019.
Electric Trucks Debut on Delivery and Intermodal Routes
Commercial electric vehicles of all sizes are going to hit the road in 2019. Volvo, Peterbilt, and newcomers like Tesla want to supply all-electric trucks for intermodal transfer, in-port drayage, delivery, and refuse trucks that run on battery power will be on the streets this year.
These new electric vehicles range in size from light trucks up to the largest tractor-trailer vehicles. The new electric trucks will be out on short-haul routes, and they still have to prove themselves.
There are practical questions about range, performance, and profitability of electric trucks and tractor units that will only be answered by putting electric trucks on the road. However, in areas like Los Angeles, where several test programs are taking place, the efficiency of electric is likely to prove itself worthy.
The Internet of Things Will Flood Logistics with Data
So many things have digital brains in them now that it is changing the world. Of course, it is nice to have the latest device in your pocket, but the real impact is going to be in industry and business. Sensors and computers that have connections to wireless networks will be everywhere.
The Internet of Things is spreading into factories and warehouses as well as out on the road. The whole supply chain is becoming connected. Chips will be in product tags and the seals on trailers, and analyzing all of the data will change how trucking companies operate.
Wireless Networks to Begin 5G Rollout in 2019
All of that data will have to go somewhere, and 5G data networks will play a role in logistics, supply chain management, and trucking. The cellphone companies love to launch new phones regularly. In 2019, they have to replace their cell tower equipment to keep up all of the data that will be flooding across the network.
As the wireless networks install 5G equipment across the country this year, the speed and power of 5G will begin to change what trucking companies can track and monitor freight remotely as they travel the roads Supply chains and freight hauling will become more efficient as they learn from the data and get smarter.
The Trucking Trends are Still Optimistic for 2019
What’s not on the list? Self-driving trucks are still off in the future somewhere, which is a topic for a post itself. In spite of the spread of technology into logistics and trucking, the technical, legal, and safety issues will keep drivers in the cab for years to come.
There are plenty of different trends that are going to affect trucking in 2019. The one thing that is certain about trucking trends in 2019 is that there will be changes and surprises. Even so, there are clear signs that there is room for truckers and time to earn a CDL this year and beyond.
What are your predictions? Share in the comments.