The Lucrative Future of Trucking
The convenience of online shopping and America’s dependency on connectivity will prove lucrative for the trucking industry. Massive companies akin Walmart, Amazon, and, more recently, Tesla, are shipping more substantial quantities of goods due to the benefits of selling products online. From October 2016 to July 2018, orders for new trucks surged from 10,000 units to 50,000 units, and last year trucks transported 67 percent and 84 percent of the value of trade between Canada and Mexico respectively.
America’s demand increase for shipping services has raised trucker’s wages; thus, the current driver shortage of about 278,951 thousand drivers is expected to reduce by about 200,000 before 2020. Additionally, autonomous trucks and electric vehicles will help trucking companies meet the rapidly growing demand for commercial transportation. Although it is unclear whether the trucking companies will be able to achieve this global demand increase, Ai and automation have made the industry more simply for both the company and the employee.
Hub Group, Freightex, and EasyPost provide trucking companies and their fleets with critical business information and solutions that maximize efficiency. Hub Group is a data-driven transportation and logistics company that uses Ai to track orders, navigate routes, and accurately estimate delivery times. United Parcel Service (UPS) acquired Freightex, a logistics service provider, to calculate routes for drivers that make an average of 120 stops daily. Google and EasyPost are working together to mainstream the concept of a complete digital workplace. Other machine learning algorithms drastically reduce truck maintenance times by analyzing which brands and models of truck parts yield the least number of complications.
Before Artificial intelligence, truckers were required to complete trip logs, proof of delivery notices, and other tedious tasks; however, Ai now automates these tasks. This industry-wide movement towards automation will contract operating costs, increase free cash flow, thus enabling companies to expand fleet capacity, and maintain market stability. As a result, the consensus believes that shipping companies will continue to maintain leverage; even though industrial production and real gross domestic product growth are expected to slow following their peak in 2018.
Written by Jake Mueller, Edited by Alexander Versfeld & Alexander Fleiss