The COVID-19 crisis kept many vehicles off the roads for a large portion of 2020, crippling many sectors of the U.S. economy, including trucking. In response to the pandemic crisis, it has also inspired a couple of trucking sustainability trends for 2021 and possibly into the unforeseeable future. With COVID-19 vaccination programs already underway, there’s a bright glimmer of hope that the ideal environment for economic recovery is gradually taking shape.
According to recentpredictions, the trucking industry will likely continue to recover in 2021 as freight levels grow in response to the expected surge in e-Commerce. As you prepare to take advantage of the anticipated economic comeback, take a look at these key trucking trends for 2021 and beyond.
- Optimal Vehicle Design
The adoption of smart driving technology in the trucking industry is set to increase. For example, trucks with built-in IoT sensors will enable drivers and truck manufacturers to automatically work out more efficient acceleration rates or speed. The increased incorporation of aerodynamic trailer tails and side fairings will also allow trucking companies to save more on fuel.
- Increased Automation and Autonomy
Autonomous trucking is one of the trends that readily comes to the forefront when you think about how the coronavirus pandemic might reshape the future of the trucking industry. Experts believe that such technology can improve vehicle safety significantly. It also has the tremendous potential to minimize trucking costs and carbon emissions, as well as boost the overall economic efficiency.
- Remote Working
Autonomous driving introduces an element ofremote working by enabling operators to remotely control a truck. The challenges faced during COVID-19 have caused several companies to think about safer ways for drivers and staff to operate or collaborate remotely. As a result, the use of virtual trucking applications is on the rise.
- Big Data Analytics for Decision Making
Trucking companies are increasingly deploying advanced artificial-intelligence-powered systems to track freight and aid in quick decision-making. AI-driven software enables the analysis of massive amounts of data, both structured and unstructured, to make informed decisions much faster than human drivers. This technology may help reduce logistic costs by 5% over the next 10 years.
- Insurance Rates to Increase
Trucking companies have had to cope with rising insurance premiums, despite declining coverages over the past decade. These rates are set to increase even with the economic hardships that trucking carriers continue to face during and after COVID-19. The need to have insurance protection won’t go away post COVID-19. As such, trucking companies will still have to carry enough trucking insurance to protect their operations and profits. Without insurance, these companies may suffer more significant losses in the event of an accident or any other relevant risk.
- New Trucking Safety and Environmental Regulations
The trucking industry anticipates regulatory changes regarding trucking sustainability to continue to affect trends for 2021. There might be new rules to help combat climate change, such as fuel efficiency regulations. You may also see autonomous safety laws or tax credits for electric trucks.
The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program will continue to impact the hiring process for truck drivers. The CSA is meant to help trucking companies hire the most competent drivers and minimize the risk of auto crashes, injuries, and deaths.
These are some of the trucking sustainability trends projected for 2021 that can spark ideas and assist trucking companies in the year ahead and enhancing trucking safety as part of a long-term business strategy is always a sound plan.
PMC is the single source for workers’ compensation solutions. With experts on-call to help independent insurance agents stay competitive, we provide specialty programs in transportation and more. Find out how PMC can help your trucking and transportation clients while you expand your book of business. Contact Joe Bukovsky, PMC Transportation Practice Leader today at [email protected].