With 2017 firmly in the rearview, we would like to wish you all a happy and productive new year. It will, undoubtedly, be a year of momentous change and further disruption within the transportation and third party logistics industry. It is an exciting time to be in our marketplace as we see the further integration of dynamic technologies that will continue to shape our industry. Here are some of the trends that we believe will play a vital role in defining 2018 and beyond:
The White House Infrastructure Initiative
An integral piece of President Trump’s campaign messaging was focused on the need for America’s infrastructure to be modernized and rebuilt from top to bottom–or, more aptly, from coast to coast. With our industry wholly dependent upon the interconnected roads, rails, ports, and airports to transport goods, this Initiative will be crucial to growth and other opportunities for many organizations. Keep an eye on announcements and a final proposal regarding the Infrastructure Initiative in the coming weeks.
Electronic Logging Device Rule (ELD)
At the end of 2017 the long-discussed––and decidedly contentious––ELD rule came into effect, which mandates that transportation companies must install electronic logging devices into every vehicle in their fleet. These devices, as many of you may know, will track, manage and share driver records of duty status (RODS). There are still many protests being launched by drivers who maintain that this mandate is an invasion of their privacy.
One of the primary concerns related to the ELD Mandate is that it will serve to further compound the current driver shortage, which is a hot button issue now––and in the long-term purview. In a report issued by the ATA, the driver shortfall could reach 50,000 positions by the end of this year and if trends hold, will grow to more than 175,000 by 2026. Look for the ATA and other organization to release strategies for combating the driver shortage over the course of this year.
Device Connectivity and AI
Hardly surprising, many influencers in our industry believe that exponential growth in the “Internet of Things” sector will play a pivotal role in changing how we do business. With new technology and big data having greater influence over how we connect in the world of commerce, it is imperative that we seek active understanding of the role that devices such and Amazon Echo or Google Home play in our industry, if we continue to be reactive to this technology there will be greater stress on supply chains and the third party logistics industry as a whole. Look for even more connective technology to be released––with greater consumer demand coming with it––over the course of 2018.
Revenue (and Salaries) on the Rise
This is a two-pronged truth: revenues for companies are expected to increase even with all of the challenges the industry is currently facing. There are opportunities for growth in many facets of the industry––and those who position themselves well for the turbulence may well generate dramatically increasing revenue over the next decade. In fact, the ATA predicts that revenue in the transportation and trucking industry could eclipse $1Trillion Dollars by 2028.
With truckers in our industry having seen years of stagnant wages, they are well-positioned for years of salary growth as the major motor carriers look to hire and keep on experienced drivers for their fleets. Many people believe that driver wages could skyrocket as much as 30-40% over the next few years, meaning that quality of life will be vastly improved as well as driver loyalty in the long-term.
A Continued Commitment to Excellence in 2018
While there are a lot of challenges and unknowns facing the third party logistics and transportation industry we are confident that these changes and disruptions will dramatically enhance the marketplace overall!
At CTE, we will keep a close watch on the shifting state of our industry, making sure to integrate technologies that will improve customer experience, while maintaining a focus on being a seamless invaluable extension to your supply chain. Have a safe and wonderful 2018, everyone…