It’s 2016! Each year things in the transportation and freight broker industries change. Learn the top trends to watch out for this year:
1. Driver Shortages
Finding and retaining qualified truck drivers has been an issue for the past few years and it is expected to continue in 2016. The driver shortage will cause capacity issues with many trucking companies throughout the next few years. Ultimately, truck drivers are the limiting factor for trucking growth. Freight volumes are increasing and are expected to continue to increase in 2016, but driver capacity won’t be able to keep up with it. In 2016, many fleets won’t grow because they don’t have enough drivers as it is now.
2. Economy Changes
The economy is predicted to run at a faster pace in 2016, which is good. However, the driver shortage may lead to upward pressure on driver wages which, in the end, may impact companies’ profits. It’s also predicted that international shipping will slow down this year. The slowing of domestic overseas economies will affect international shipping.
3. Safety Rules
Safety is always a main focus for trucking companies, but in 2016 it will become even more important. Last year brought more truck crashes and accidents than previous years, which has sparked the need for more safety measures. Maintaining safe equipment and drivers are important. Government regulations will require fleets to update safety measures each year. Some of the safety rules to come this year include Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse rule, set entry-level driver training standards, increased minimum insurance levels for motor carriers. Although there is no law passed yet, many trucking fleets are implementing collision-mitigation systems to increase driver safety.
4. New Technologies
There will be many new technologies implemented in 2016. More fleets will begin to focus on implementing new technologies in all of their trucks this year. Technologies that can be used in equipment include aerodynamic enhancements and lower rolling-resistance tires. GPS tracking will be critical in 2016 as more people expect the on-demand access to package tracking. Big data will also expand this year. It will help freight broker managers make decisions to increase efficiency, lower fuel costs and improve customer service.
5. More Competition
The freight broker game is getting more competitive. New freight brokers are stepping into the arena to compete for business, but other segments of the shipping industry are also competing. Another reason for more competition is due to new technologies, which are streamlining the shipping process and allowing some shippers to bypass freight brokers.