The Top 5 Trucking Industry Trends in 2017
If you own a trucking business, then you should continue reading to discover the top five trucking industry trends that will affect your company in 2017 and beyond.
Increased Freight Tonnage moved by trucks
Industry experts at the American Trucking Association (ATA) anticipate that between 2016 and 2027, freight tonnage shipped by trucks in the U.S. will grow by approximately 30 percent. This significant growth is good news for the industry, but are your operations ready for it? To capitalize on this impending growth, you should consider investing in your fleet to ensure you can handle the increase in demand for your services. If you do not have the cash flow available to immediately invest in new trucks and drivers, consider taking out a trucking business loan. Once your new trucks are up and running, you’ll quickly see a return on your investment.
Trump’s America First Approach to Trade
President Trump has vowed to put America first in trade dealings, particularly regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump promises to protect American manufacturers by ensuring that across the country, American made products are promoted as the more affordable and higher quality alternative to purchasing foreign products. An increase in demand for U.S. made products by American consumers will hopefully directly benefit the trucking industry as the demand for domestic shipments will increase.
Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Legal Mandates
Did you know that by December 18th 2017 you are required by law to implement Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in your trucks, as per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)? These devices are designed to ensure drivers are not working more hours than are legally and safely permissible.
The cost of the most popular ELD model is approximately $500 per vehicle on an annual basis. Not only will this amount to a hefty implementation cost depending on the size of your fleet, you will also need to consider the time it takes to install the devices and train staff on how to properly use them. To help ease the financial burden of complying with this mandate, you may benefit from a business loan. Once you implement the ELDs, you will quickly receive a return on your investment through a reduction in paperwork and increased safety and security for your drivers.
All of the trends mentioned so far have something in common: the demand for additional drivers. If the industry grows as the ATA predicts, and the demand for American made products grows as Trump promises, then in order to capture a portion of this market growth, you will need to hire additional drivers to keep up with demand. Also, with the likelihood that your drivers will be working fewer hours to maintain safety compliance as per the ELD legislation, you may need to hire more drivers to keep up with existing business.
The final trend to consider of the top five trucking industry trends of 2017 is the emergence of electronic refrigerators in trucks. Electronic refrigerators are a much quieter and more efficient way to transport perishable goods as opposed to the traditional diesel model. Not only are these refrigerators eco-friendly, they are significantly quieter than diesel run refrigerators and will ultimately save your business thousands of dollars a year in fuel costs.
By keeping up to date with these five trucking industry trends you will not only ensure your business meets legislative requirements, but also continues to maintain successful operations.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.