Statistics from the past few years paint a dire picture of the trucking industry across North America. In the US alone, truckers move over 70% of the freight, yet the country remains sorely short of drivers.
The latest figures show a shortfall of 80,000 drivers in the US and 25,000 in Canada. The New York Times reports that the shortage is substantial enough to disrupt the trucking industry – and the problem is deeply rooted in the system itself. “It is a job full of stress, physical deprivation, and loneliness,” Peter S. Goodman of the Times reports.
To circle back to the point from earlier, with such a high demand for trucking services and not enough drivers willing to take on trucking jobs, some things got to give. So what does this mean for the industry? It means today’s trucking companies either need to shape up and make trucking jobs more appealing to drivers or bow out and make room for new players that have sustainability and employee wellbeing in mind.
With e-Commerce businesses booming and the volume of freight increasing, the stakes are higher than ever, and the trucking industry has to figure out a solution – and fast.
The Holiday Conundrum
The holiday season tends to be the busiest time of year for trucking businesses. There are billions of packages being shipped in the US alone, and additional shoppers and travelers translate into increased demand for trucks on the road. Moreover, many drivers take time off over the holidays, further exacerbating the shortage.
With logistics companies scrambling to keep up with demand, some have turned to automated solutions, including semi-autonomous trucks and robotics, to help fill the gap. But no matter what strategies they adopt, it’s clear something needs to change to keep the industry moving forward.
If left unchecked, the shortage will wreak further havoc on supply chains, making it difficult to move goods and services efficiently and on time. This could result in longer delivery times, overstocking, and even product shortages.
The holiday season is a time of huge economic activity, especially in the US. The combination of online shoppers, fast shipping demand, and a woefully understaffed trucking industry could spell chaos.
What the Future Looks Like
The trucking sector is ripe for change and innovation, with many startups and established companies alike looking for ways to address these challenges.
Whether it’s by introducing technology or increasing regulations, one thing is clear: something must be done to ensure that trucking services keep rolling year-round, especially during the holiday season.
Trends in the trucking industry show an increasing focus on sustainable businesses. Companies are now actively exploring ways to make their operations more environmentally friendly and sustainable in a bid to adapt to changing needs. Some best practices that could help companies stay afloat in the long run are:
Implementing Eco-Friendly Practices
Even though the US trucking industry is a substantial driver of progress across the country, it also contributes to unacceptable levels of air pollution. The best trucking companies implement green and sustainable business practices to ensure their operations do not contribute to environmental destruction. These practices include using electric vehicles, investing in alternative fuels, and adopting strict fuel consumption policies.
Supporting Driver Wellness
Another significant challenge currently facing the trucking industry is the low driver retention rates. Less-than-ideal working conditions and a lack of job satisfaction often result in decreased productivity or even accidents.
Therefore, the best trucking companies to work for are those that support driver wellness by offering flexible working hours, adopting health and safety standards, and improving driver training programs.
Team Truck Driving
The industry is witnessing a new trend that is revolutionizing long-distance hauling. Team truck driving is an innovative approach that allows two drivers to share a single vehicle. This helps reduce fatigue as drivers can alternate shifts when one of them needs to take a break. For truck drivers with family or friends in the same line of work, team truck driving offers a unique opportunity to hit the highways together and enjoy one another’s company.
Having a Trucking Business Plan
Preparing a business plan for one’s trucking company, especially in these changing times, is essential to ensure long-term success. Some critical components of a trucking business plan include a thorough market analysis, detailed operations plan, and financial projections.
How a Local Trucking Company Is Changing the Game
AJR Trucking has been a leader in the trucking industry for over three decades. We keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trucking news and trends while staying compliant with California trucking laws. We are also committed to taking care of our drivers while ensuring secure yet efficient freight transportation services for clients, meeting delivery schedules as promised, and operating within an eco-friendly business model.
We recognize that truck drivers are integral to our success and actively motivate them to join us. Moreover, we stay abreast of all developments in the space so that our operations remain ahead of the curve. We prioritize sustainable business practices, including championing team truck driving as a way to serve our clients’ needs best.
Thanks to our dedicated focus on professional growth, competitive salaries, and comprehensive insurance for medical, dental, and vision needs, AJR Trucking is considered among the top trucking companies for new drivers.
At AJR, we treat our truckers like family. And this is reflected in our outstanding service, on-time deliveries, and commitment to environmental responsibility. If you’re looking for a career change or to join the best trucking company to work for among local trucking companies in the market, contact us today and learn more about how AJR is changing the game.