In 2021, the trucking industry has changed a lot. There have been many ups and downs in the US, influencing the overall operations and production. So now, there’s a shift in how the industry functions and work is received in a different way from what we’re used to. But what are the challenges to expect in the trucking industry in 2022? That’s what we’re here to find out.
If you’re only starting your career as a truck driver, you’ll find plenty of valuable information here. And if you’re already working, you’ll see what you need to prepare for. Don’t worry — things aren’t that grim at all.
Some Carriers Will Go Under
Over the past few months, we could see that several big and small trucking companies have closed their doors for business. The market conditions became harsher and it was too much for some. This all means that about a thousand truckers in the US lost their jobs this year.
The reason for this is that retailers are moving fewer goods from one place to another. Some experts suggest that the trend will continue in 2022, while others think it has already gone away with a retail spike that this busy holiday season brought us. It’s hard to predict what will happen next, but there are some things we know for sure.
Even if the company they work for goes under, experienced truck drivers rarely have problems finding new employment. Businesses that found a way through the new situation are on the constant lookout for new drivers so you don’t have to worry about what to do.
Rapid technology development has impacted almost every industry out there and the trucking industry isn’t an exemption. From the tools used in corporate offices to the trucks themselves — technology is improving.
Now, we have software tools that allow companies to make their operations more streamlined and efficient. And when it comes to trucks, ‘smart technology’ is a big word to keep an eye on. The concept of tracking orders has taken off. Therefore, more and more trucks are equipped with the technology that makes this possible.
The challenge here is most pronounced for the drivers that drive their own trucks. For some jobs, they might be required to have examples of this technology on board. So, we can expect to see that many truckers will want to replace their vehicles with new ones in the following year. However, there might be a better way.
Experts from fourwinds-ksa.com suggest that you talk to the company you’re working with and see if you can get away with adding something to your current truck. Upgrades will cost less and will be easier to do than buying a whole new truck.
Some Companies Will Merge
If the situation doesn’t improve, merging with other companies is an alternative route to going under. Many businesses will decide to go with it to overcome the challenges expected in the trucking industry in 2022. Now, they’ll have two main paths they’ll be able to follow.
The first is merging with an existing trucking company. This way, they can put their resources together to withstand everything that the industry pushes on to them. The companies will have a chance to continue their work and even expand to new territories and markets.
The second route they can follow is joining their forces with a company from a different sector. This will allow them to stay afloat as they will be able to add new things to their offer. They could expand the range of their services and even use the less-than-ideal situation to grow as a company.
Changes in Pricing
In 2019, due to the COVID pandemic, the pricing that truckers worked with experienced a decline. There wasn’t much work, and the companies had to charge less in fear that they wouldn’t score any jobs. However, that all changed when we hit 2021.
The lack of trained drivers and the need for retailers to push out products has driven the costs way up. Of course, it started a chain reaction, and everything from toilet paper to electronics has risen in price. The situation as it is right now doesn’t suit anyone. Both truckers and retailers are struggling to keep up, and the consumers aren’t happy about having to pay more either.
Luckily, experts predict a market flip and positive growth in 2022. According to forecast for the freight and distribution industry, the role of trucking will rise. Hopefully, that will lead to an influx of new drivers and balance the costs.
Influence of E-Commerce
In the same period when the trucking industry was getting weaker, the e-commerce industry was growing. Locked up in their homes, people had to resort to online shopping and it seems they loved it. Now, it’s the preferred way to do it, and the e-commerce industry is one of the most booming industries out there.
However, you’ll be glad to hear that it can’t operate without help from the trucking industry. If the truckers don’t transport the goods from one place to another, they can’t sell anything. So, the growth of e-commerce will bring growth to trucking, for sure.
Rising Fuel Costs
As we all know, gas shortages affect the trucking industry unlike anything else. Fuel has always been one of the most significant cost factors for truckers, and when it got expensive, they found themselves in a pinch. Unfortunately, because of the limited nature of this resource, we can expect its price to go only up.
On the other hand, there are plenty of solutions to this problem. There are all these alternative fuel trucks or even electric trucks to choose from. They all bring down the amount of money you have to cough up for gas, but they don’t come cheap. The cost of investments for these new trucks is a bit more than most trucking companies can afford at the moment. So, we’ll probably stick to the old gas-powered vehicles for a few more years.
And those are the biggest challenges to expect in the trucking industry in 2022. Experienced drivers have nothing to fear as there’s always enough work for them. And if you’re just getting into trucking, do everything you can to get yourself a good place to start.
Author bio: Nikolas Vaughan is a freelance writer and a logistics specialist from New York City. His dad was a trucker, so he feels connected with the industry and hopes to help everyone involved with it.