Why Truckers Will Thrive in 2020
While the results of a google search indicate that 2020 will be “a tough year for truckers,” the industry is thriving in many ways.
All industries endure challenges along the way and the trucking industry is no different. There are certainly reasons to look ahead with caution, but you don’t need to look through rose-colored glasses in order to anticipate the new year with genuine optimism.
Ever-Increasing Demand for Truck Drivers
For the past decade, the trucking industry has grown, with thousands of people opting to take on a career as a truck driver–and there’s still room for more! Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is estimated truck driver demand for 2020 will increase to 1.9 million. That is up from the 1.6 million tractor-trailers truck drivers that were on the road in 2010.
As if the need for truck drivers hasn’t been apparent for several years, the economic growth has continuously been on the upswing in the trucking industry as well. According to the American Trucking Association, freight volumes are expected to increase by an additional 2.3% by 2028, which equates to even more industry related job opportunities.
The demand for new truck drivers to fill an industry need, combined with the fact that many baby boomers are now reaching retirement age, has made the truck driver shortage even more of a challenge. But that’s good news for truckers.
Because of the growing demand, the industry recently increased pay rates for everyone and began offering sign-on bonuses and paid training to make the career choice more appealing to people of all ages. This has helped to fill the gap, however, there is still a truck driver deficit nationwide, with more than 50,000 vacancies.
Although jobs in other American industries are being dissolved due to automation, downsizing, or offshoring, the professional truck driver is safe from such upheaval, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Driver-assist technology and automated safety features are nothing new for standard motorist vehicles, but the trucking industry is getting onboard, too. In response to growing environmental concerns and stricter emission controls, safety protocols and hours-of-service driving restrictions, the industry strives to make autonomous trucks and fuel-saving equipment available.
Some automation features are already available in commercial trucks, including Active Lane Assist, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control. Advancements continue as commercial manufacturers implement systems designed to automatically accelerate, decelerate and make lateral moves.
This technology still requires fully attentive drivers, but also helps improve their safety and working environment.
Impact of E-Commerce
The internet has given us access to the entire world – virtually and literally. As businesses new and old are making their products available online, the e-commerce industry continues to grow.
Most everyone is taking advantage of shopping online from the convenience and comfort of home versus going to the local store, which has contributed to growth in the trucking industry.
Consumers only need to hit the order button and their products are delivered right to their door in a matter of days. And it is thanks to the trucking industry that those products make it from point A to B. E-commerce is expected to grow well into 2020 and that is good news for trucking.
In recent years, America has been undergoing substantial development. Once vacant, land has transformed into urban communities, cities, and new businesses.
For the trucking industry, this expansion means more customers, easier access to outlying areas, and the potential for industry-related businesses to expand further as well.
We’ll Keep You Informed
Suppose U Drive has been involved in the trucking industry for more than eight decades, which means we have seen first-hand a multitude of changes to this business. But through it all, one thing has always been clear: Trucking represents the heart of America and will for years to come.
Dedicated to our customers, partners, community, and readers, you can count on us providing you with accurate insider information. Sign up for our newsletter so you can stay informed. Get the latest updates sent directly to your email.