The year 2018 saw the revenues for the trucking industry mount to $800 billion. But in 2019, the demand sagged due to overcapacity in the market. This scenario caused the prices to reduce significantly, making it even more challenging for the weaker companies to operate further. This situation seems to continue in the first quarter of 2020. According to the data from the American Trucking Associations, truck freight tonnage has reduced due to elevated inventories and reduced manufacturing.
According to Werner Enterprises, a shortage of skilled and dynamic truck drivers is a major cause of worry for the trucking industry.
To maintain a competitive edge, the trucking industry has to address the key challenges of the trucking industry.
According to the American Transportation Research Institute, fuel prices increase every year by 17.7%. This leads to a tax hike with respect to local road maintenance, etc. This, in turn, causes cost overheads that adds to existing business difficuties. Adopting advanced payment solutions will help managers to monitor fuel costs by the drivers, track tax payments, prevent idle times, and in sending the driver payrolls, settlements, and invoices in real-time.
Tracking inefficiencies and fraudulent activities are crucial for managing the overall performance in every trucking industry. Incorporating big data and analytics solutions helps managers to track inefficiencies in real-time by deriving crucial insights on driver behavior, compliance, fuel usage, and the overall performance. These countless data points can help in identifying cost-saving factors and detect inefficiencies and thereby improve the ROI of the trucking industry.
Diversifying the workforce will give the trucking industry an opportunity to leverage the benefits of employing skilled, technologically experienced younger workers. Providing them with advanced mobile-friendly solutions will help them perform better in lesser time and effort and also result in improved ROI for the trucking industry. In addition to boosting driver engagement, it will attract skilled talent to enter the industry and perform productively.
Providing employee training programs and good incentive schemes will also result in a positive outcome.
Since the onset of COVID-19, fleet-based businesses and trade activities in the United States is facing uneven challenges. The combination of manufacturing coming to a halt, plus stringent restrictions on travel and social distancing an important containment measure in most states, has altered the dynamics in the commercial trucking industry. While much of the population is confined to their homes with limited mobility, millions of tons of goods still need to be on the move despite any physical or financial challenges truckers may face. Trucking companies are currently trying their best to meet increased demand across the country, and also keep their drivers and employees safe and healthy while complying with the regulations and continuing to operate efficiently.
The major challenges of a skilled driver shortage, compliance, and workforce with both technical know-how and experience will continue in the first quarter of 2020. Implementing cutting-edge technology solutions, incorporating a diverse workforce, and embracing Big Data and Analytics will help in resolving major bottlenecks in the industry.
The proliferation of data opens up a new opportunity for the trucking industry to comply with new regulations and also to bring up new and effective business strategies by learning operating patterns and employee behaviors from history. Regulations like the electronic logging device will be an effective portal to monitor efficiency.
The trucking industry thus has a great opportunity to thrive better in the market in 2020 for positive outcomes!
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