This past week in Dallas, during the Omnitrac Outlook User Conference, Susan Beardslee led a discussion on the changes that are shaping trucking in 2019 and beyond. Similarly to past trucking and logistics conferences around the US, one of the main topics of Omnitrac was to inform and determine the rate of change and what the industry can do to embrace it.
The trucking industry has had a long history of being very slow to adapt and accept change due to an aging workforce that isn’t able to keep up with the quick changes coming from outside and inside. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has not allowed adults between the age of 18-20 to hold CDLs, preemptively cutting out a sizable portion of willing, able, and qualified drivers that the industry is in such dire need of. Those young drivers would be able to help lessen the effects of the driver shortage that the industry has been experiencing since late 2017.
Along with the lack of young drivers, the current market changes are also affecting the way freight is moved and delivered. Next day, two-day, and home delivery are increasing and changing the expectations when it comes to how we receive our packages. Amazon is at the forefront of the push for quicker, more efficient logistics as to help cut down and streamline their ever quickening delivery times. It’s an inevitable change for the “instant gratification” generation that needs everything now and with very few barriers to delivery.
While autonomy is still far off for personal transportation let alone commercial uses, the industry is changing around more current issues that are affecting the industry now. It remains to be seen how these changes are going to affect the industry in the long run, but it can be imagined that bringing an old and stubborn sector into the 21st century will have massive benefits for consumers and producers alike.
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