The trucking industry has gone through major changes in the past few years, with trucking companies having to answer a wide range of questions about their operations, from mask mandates and driver protections to zero-contact delivery and creative solutions for in-home installations. Now, these questions have been answered, but new questions about location, sustainability, and labor have emerged, and trucking companies must be ready to answer them to remain desirable to modern shippers.
One of the most significant shifts in the industry was seen in how warehouses utilized their staff during the global pandemic. To maximize productivity, many warehousing facilities scheduled employee lunch times around the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of shipments. This has highlighted the importance of location data, which allows warehouse and distribution center leaders to be prepared for the exact moment a shipment arrives. Trucking companies must offer real-time track and trace options, such as a transportation management system (TMS), a geo-fencing solution, or simple SMS solutions that can ping a driver’s phone to identify their location. Modern shippers also want to offer real-time updates to their customers on when a load will arrive, which requires real-time tracking options from trucking companies.
Another major challenge facing the trucking industry is sustainability, with a coming set of regulations that will require companies to disclose their carbon emissions. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon ask public companies to put their carbon emissions in their earnings statements, and CFOs at major organizations will be required to provide accurate information or risk jail time. Trucking companies must prepare to offer information on factors such as fuel utilization, idling time, miles per gallon, and more.
In addition, the trucking landscape is changing dramatically with regards to labor, with laws like Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) in California altering traditional trucking models and several other states considering adopting similar statutes. Shippers are also asking about worker classification and are looking for transportation companies to establish prudent hiring practices that limit the risk of accidents. The prevalence of nuclear verdicts and newfound liability is pushing shippers to insulate themselves from risk, meaning transportation companies must prepare to address and alleviate these concerns.
In conclusion, the logistics world is constantly changing and the most progressive shippers will continue to iterate their supply chains to strike a balance between safety, inventory, productivity, and headcount. Trucking companies must be ready to answer new questions about location, sustainability, and labor and have solutions in place to remain desirable to modern shippers.