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Trucking is an important industrial sector that’s necessary to run businesses and economies smoothly. However, like most things, the trucking industry also suffered the consequences of the COVID pandemic. The virus severely affected global trade by causing production lines to shut down. This, in turn, affected the operations of trucking industries across the globe. 

As a result of the pandemic, the trends in the trucking world in 2021 turned out unfortunate. Many truckers claimed that there’s a difficulty in fulfilling rising demands due to lack of supply. Therefore, some of the biggest challenges faced by truckers this year were finding capacity and providing capacity. Some truckers also had difficulties with finding and retaining customers. 

However, the coming year of 2022 is bound to bring with it even more changes in the trucking industry. If you want to know more about the upcoming trends expected in the new year, then you can read them below:

1. Shortage of Drivers

A shortage of skilled and licensed drivers is one of the biggest problems in the trucking industry right now and will continue in 2022 as well. The reason behind this problem is the very few numbers of people lining up to take jobs and responsibilities in this niche. Even those who are interested in working as truck drivers don’t get to work immediately. They need months of professional training, testing, and licensure. 

The pandemic has also driven away drivers who were already working in the trucking industry. Most of these truck drivers found jobs in the final-mile delivery or moved to small carriers. Due to the benefits offered by these new jobs, such as less federal oversight and more flexible work schedules, it’s unlikely for these drivers to return to their trucking jobs even when the pandemic settles.

This shortage of truck drivers is constantly increasing and is expected to reach 160,000 by the year 2030.

2. Trucking Capacity

The capacity issues that truckers faced in 2021 will most likely continue to plague them in 2022 as well. Due to the pandemic still continuing, there’s an ongoing discrepancy between consumer demands being greater than what the suppliers can provide. This problem is made worse when the holiday season rolls around. Another reason behind this problem is the lack of truck drivers, which in turn affects delivery time and supply quantity.

3. Carrier Bankruptcy

Several trucking companies shut down, which in turn has led at least 3000 drivers to be unemployed. This negative shift has also been caused by pandemic-influenced factors such as the lack of movement of goods, which in turn has caused many trucking companies to go out of work. As a result, there has been a significant drop in the profits the trucking industry used to reap. This trend is expected to continue in 2022 as well. This will especially hold true if the companies don’t make the right decisions at the right time, such as improving their technology or merging companies.

4. Higher Number of Merged Companies

Due to so many trucking businesses suffering from harsh market conditions, many companies are choosing to merge with other companies instead of completely shutting down. This, in turn, has led to two main types of merged companies. This first kind is where truck companies merge with other truck companies in order to increase their resources and withstand the market. The second kind is where truck companies merge with companies operating in a different sector. This helps the truck companies to explore new territory, increase their range of services, and stay afloat till the market stabilizes. 

Due to the pandemic still going on, the market will take a fair amount of time before it becomes settled again. As a result, many truck companies are going to opt for merging in 2022. This will, in turn, cause the trucking landscape to change rapidly and create new opportunities, levels of capabilities, and expectations of efficiency within the industry.

5. Changes in Pricing

Truck drivers generally don’t have very high-paying salaries. However, the condition was made worse by the shortage of business that trucking companies had. In order to combat this problem, most companies started to charge less in fear of not getting any work at all. While policies and acts were put into place in order to ensure that truckers’ salaries are covered, these resources haven’t necessarily changed the actual conditions within the industry.

However, you can definitely expect a change in the pricing of trucking companies. Whether this change is positive or negative depends upon the market conditions. If these conditions continue to worsen, then it's very likely that most trucking companies will further reduce their prices. However, if the market experiences a positive change, then trucking companies will be able to improve their prices and even go back to previous rates.

6. Effects of E-commerce

The e-commerce industry has been growing since its inception. People prefer to shop online and have products delivered to them rather than going to stores. The e-commerce industry relies heavily upon transportation and cannot function without trucks. Therefore, growth in the e-commerce industry is has a positive influence on the growth of the trucking industry as well.

The pandemic caused an even greater number of people to turn to e-commerce as their safest means of shopping. This reliance on e-commerce is expected to continue in 2022 as well, and the industry is likely to undergo further growth. This can cause the trucking industry to grow as well.

7. Technological Improvements

Technology has caused widespread changes in all sectors, and the trucking industry is no exception. These technological changes have an impact on the corporate offices of the trucking companies, to the trucks themselves. These changes have helped make operations more streamlined and efficient. This technology has also helped enhance the functionality of the vehicles and has also introduced the concept of being able to track orders during the commute. 

These technological changes have significantly improved the functioning of the trucking industry and have helped generate more revenue. These changes are expected to continue and further improve the trucking industry during the upcoming year 2022.

8. Incorporation of Data Analytics

Data analytics is a very important tool that many industries and businesses are tapping into. The same stands true for the trucking industry and the various companies functioning within it. Data analytics has significantly helped increase the overall impact a business has. Therefore, the companies that have yet to benefit from this new advancement are probably going to in 2022.

It will be applied to all the components of the industry, from the vehicles to the corporate offices. Information such as route, and the current status of an operation, will all be gathered through data analytics. This, in turn, will help the trucking industry to detect areas that need development, areas that can be further improved upon, and areas that can be made more efficient.

9. Market Flip

Due to the pandemic, the trucking industry has suffered a lot. Currently, the industry is not in a very good form. Regardless, some experts are very hopeful and enthusiastic about the future of the industry. They expect a market flip in 2022. This flip is expected to come due to the many developments that are recently making their way within this industry. These developments are likely to bring about gradual improvements within the industry. If the expected flip does occur, it can help the entire industry by saving many companies that would otherwise go under due to the present, harsh market conditions. 

So far, the probability of a flip seems to be very likely. Experts have predicted that trucking will experience an increase of 67% in tonnage, and an increase of 82.2% in revenues, in the year 2022. These expected values will create a more positive situation in the trucking industry, especially as far as pricing is concerned. 

10. Urbanization

Urbanization is also a positive factor in the growth of the trucking industry. The development of rural societies into urban landscapes means that it’s easier for trucks to travel through routes, and parts of the country, that were inaccessible before. This means that the trucking industry can widen its base and expand its network. This helps the industry get more business and profit.

Wide-scale development in the past few years has developed many rural areas into urban ones. This development is expected to continue in 2022 as well, which in turn will create more opportunities, and the prospect of growth, within the trucking industry.

Final Thoughts

The landscape of the trucking industry has been rocky since the pandemic hit, and it will undergo further changes in 2022. If you want to ensure your trucking company does not go down like others, you have to be very particular about logistics and the technological aspect of your company. At Integratz, we can help you implement seemingly complex software solutions easily. So, you can make your business more efficient without hassle! If you want the best for your business, then click here to schedule an appointment with us.