Want to know how the trucking industry could change in 2022? The year 2021 was full of unexpected challenges and opportunities for every industry, including trucking. Here are some of the trucking trends to look for in 2022.
Increased fuel cost
For all trucking professionals, including those in the LTL trucking industry, fuel prices are set to play a major part in how 2022 shakes out. Diesel prices have risen at a rapid rate during the last year from pandemic lows caused by reduced demand for fuel.
As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, demand for fuel has increased considerably. Although production hasn’t fully stepped up to meet the demand, experts are predicting greater oil production throughout 2022 which should stabilize prices. If that doesn’t happen and the price of diesel continues to rise, freight prices will rise as well, causing more industry professionals to consider making the switch to electric vehicles.
For LTL trucking professionals, increased demand is leading to significant rate increases. While driver recruitment and hiring is a top priority for trucking firms, it just can’t keep up with demand. Due to both increased demand on the consumer side and a decreased pool of trucking labor, overall costs of LTL freight are bound to increase throughout 2022.
In addition, a semiconductor chip shortage is affecting the way companies respond to demand, as production of new trucks has slowed significantly. Companies may be forced to make do with their current fleet, investing in repairs rather than buying new vehicles for the time being.
According to recent research by the American Transportation Research Institute, the majority of hauls made by carriers in 2020 were short hauls of less than 500 miles. If this trend continues, most carriers will make local hauls their primary business. These shorter hauls allow drivers to be at home more often, and it also helps protect them from health risks associated with sitting too long. If you run an OTR trucking company, expect to spend more time looking for qualified drivers for longer trips.
Whether you’re a carrier or an owner-operator, you likely understand how much of a problem detention is for the trucking industry. It’s simply a waste of time for most truckers, and there’s an industry-wide focus on addressing the problem. In 2022, expect to see more brokers, shippers and 3PLs embracing technology to track detention times in an effort to reduce them.
Higher freight volume
While 2021 was a banner year for freight tonnage, experts predict even higher freight volumes in 2022. Trucking companies will be compensated for the increase, with revenues predicted to be significantly higher in 2022. While higher freight volumes are great for drivers and carriers, it puts pressure on the industry as a whole. Forward-thinking companies should invest in time-saving technology for finding and booking loads—it could make all the difference in terms of productivity.
Want to learn more about how 2022 trucking trends could impact your business? Reach out to the logistics experts at K-Way Express, Inc. to get the answers to your questions.