The surging production of crude oil and natural gas in the Permian Basin have added more pressure to the already low numbers of available capacity within the transportation and logistics industry. But, you won’t hear carriers complaining as they rake in the dough.
Trimble Transportation CTO Timothy Leonard recently joined a panel of leading technology companies to discuss the “Future of Transportation” at Morgan Stanley’s Canadian Emerging Tech Conference. Leonard was joined by Andrew Macdonald, vice president and regional general manager of Asia-Pacific at Uber, and Colin Sutherland, EVP of sales and marketing at Geotab, a telematics company.
“The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.”
– Ginni Rometty, Chair, President and CEO of IBM
With a little more than 18 months left in the decade, what are the main concerns for the trucking industry before we reach 2020? Three association leaders representing the Iowa Motor Truck Association, Toronto Transportation Club and the Women In Trucking Association informally shared their observations on the hot topics being discussed among their membership and what’s keeping them up at night.
There is much reason for the trucking industry to be optimistic as we enter 2018. For one, freight levels have improved significantly for the industry. In addition, the combination of better freight volumes and for-hire fleets not adding to truck counts in 2017 absorbed much of the excess capacity that plagued the industry over the previous couple of years. With both the main drivers of truck freight demand doing well and the use of electronic logging devices now required, 2018 could be the best year the industry has experienced in the post deregulation era. Indeed, two of the biggest challenges for motor carriers this year will be finding enough qualified drivers and covering all their loads.
Private trucking fleets represent roughly one-half of the overall trucking market. According to FleetSeek, a trucking industry research firm, the total truck fleet count in the United States is 565,253. Some 277,623 of these are private fleets, or slightly more than 49%. The great majority are very small with twenty vehicles or less: 189,849 fleets have 1-5 vehicles; 39,509 have 6-10 vehicles, and 24,465 have 11-20 vehicles.
We’re a mobile society. As we approach the end of this decade, mobility means no longer being tethered to a desk. From the dock to the coffee shop or at a truck stop, trucking mobile apps are changing the ways of our workforce.
Maintaining your fleet has never been more important than now. Not solely because most Class 8 commercial trucks are teenagers; but overall safety and the ability to keep assets moving are critical for business success.