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FASTTTLANE
Trucking and the New Economy
Created at Apr 19, 22

Trucking and the New Economy

By: Andy Clevenger, Chief Product Officer, TruckTractorTrailer.com

You may have heard talk recently about the “New Economy.” Its a buzz word in many postings and a topic of conversation.

 

Let’s face it, we all know the world is changing fast, economies are being transformed and so are the industries that drive them.  So obviously, this question about what the “New Economy” is and what industries make it up are only natural. A quick google search will yield no shortage of articles focused on it. Its written about at nauseum and conjures up thoughts of robots and drones, hovering cars and flying suits.  But in reality, its much less about brand new ideas than it is about execution of existing technologies.

 

Hold up…what is the so called “New Economy?”

 

The new economy is often defined as being composed of high growth industries that are on the cutting edge of technology. The renowned Harvard Business Review dubs it as “the virtuous cycle of competition, innovation, and productivity growth.” Trucking is squarely in the center of this New Economy.  We intend to dive into why this is and what it means to the trucking and transportation industry.

 

So the key ingredients are high growth and technology.  Again, why would trucking fall anywhere near either of these things?  Trucking has been around forever and works just fine the way it is, right???

 

First let’s look at the high growth part of the equation….

 

The trucking industry in a nutshell is directly responsible for transporting goods across the country by utilizing the interstate and road systems. In recent years, a shortage of truck drivers has caused an increase in the average salary for trucking professionals. Trucking companies that are equipped to move specialty freight, such as livestock, automobiles and chemicals, have also experienced accelerated growth. The BLS (US Bureau of Labor and Statistics) estimates that truck drivers will experience a 5% employment rate increase by 2028.  The need for this industry is on the rise!

 

Many things have had a perfect storm type effect with regard to trucking:

  • A huge and recent increase in ecommerce due to the recent changes of attitudes towards online shopping. 
  • This increase in online shopping directly relates to increases in shipping of goods across the country.
  • Basic supply/demand starts to kick in.  Higher demand and need for goods to be shipped has caused shortages in qualified truck drivers to move these goods. 
  • What this does is pushes up the salaries of trucking professionals and the premium for these jobs in the marketplace.

 

So what does this all add up to?

 

In summary, more goods are being shipped, the need for and demand for trucking continues to rise, the salaries of drivers is on the rise and the need for better efficiencies in the trucking industry is also increasing.  

 

In short, the high growth component of the new economy is in no shortage in the trucking industry!  Quite the opposite…its at the top.  Recently Indeed.com ranked trucking within the top 12 high growth industries coming in at #8.  Trucking = growth in the marketplace.

 

The other component of the “New Economy” is cutting edge technology.

 

When an industry experiences growth, the need for efficiencies is integral to compete.  Competition drives efficiency.  And the easy way to increase efficiencies is to utilize technology to your advantage.  Technology and efficiency go hand in hand.

 

So has the trucking industry made use of technology effectively to make it more efficient?  In a word….ABSOLUTELY…Where to start?

 

  • Software developed for route optimization
  • GPS and truck performance monitoring
  • Saas platforms dedicated towards disposition of vehicles
  • EVs being developed dedicated towards the trucking industry
  • Electronic logging devices for driver logs
  • Trucking apps (ie. lowest price fuel, truck weight time savers, weather, etc…)
  • Truck inspection platforms
  • Communities sprouting up focused on trucking (Reddit, Tic Tok, Facebook….)

 

Efficiency improvements are prevalent in the trucking industry in many areas…from the operators driving the vehicles to the owners and fleets monitoring their assets.  From communities talking about trucking topics to apps making the driving experience a better one…Every part of the business is hyper focused on a more efficient way to work and using technology to accomplish it.

 

Looking then at the two criteria of being part of the so called “New Economy” of high growth and cutting edge technologies, I think its easy to recognize why the trucking industry has been singled out as an industry that is a key part of the changing landscape.

 

In its most basic level, its an industry that moves goods across the country.  Expectations are high and customers now expect quick and efficient delivery.  They want it now and they want it cheap.  To survive in the trucking business and to compete, you need to understand and employ tools to allow you to be as efficient as possible.

 

In summary, trucking is growing.  From Amazon deliveries to the numerous ecommerce businesses that are thriving as well as the movement towards direct to consumer sales….these things all require the trucking industry as their backbone to get goods where they need to go.  And none of this is slowing down anytime soon.  Every facet of the trucking industry has tools in place to help make it efficient and constantly improving.  

 

We all may have ideas of what it means to be a part of the “new economy” but let me let you in on a little secret.  Its been under our noses all along. Its all about industries that are a staple of the USA and have been depended upon for years and years.  Trucking is one of these industries that is going to remain…its just transforming to be a bigger, better and more efficient part of a new economy that needs it, thrives on it and is propelling it forward.

by Andy Clevenger

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