Give your trucking company a head start in 2022

The new year lies dead ahead, bringing change. Meanwhile, we still face unrelenting capacity constraints on ground, sea, and even air routes. Here are some of the trends we forecast for U.S. trucking firms:

  • Shippers can expect a 5-7% increase in truckload costs overall, weighted higher in Q1/Q2 with the average decreasing in Q3/Q4.
  • The incoming year will likely not progress on the autonomous truck front. However, both OEMs and tech developers are refining and slowly expanding their current operating systems to meet internal go-to-market timetables.
  • Consumers’ increased reliance on e-commerce, port bottlenecks, and manufacturing shortages will continue to impact the post-peak-season market, which is unlikely to loosen up as quickly as it “normally” does after the holidays.
  • More significant loosening and reduction in supply-side tension are expected by the middle of 2022 as carriers begin to take delivery of delayed equipment.
  • Port congestion continues to impact trucking: Some owner-operators have moved on to other fields since delays for moving a container from the port have increased, but their pay hasn’t.
  • Another wave of slowdowns due to COVID-related work rules and quarantines will likely add restrictions in many sections of the global supply chain, slowing the movement of goods.

Actions you can take right now.

What can trucking companies and transport management do differently in 2022 to give themselves a leg up? Here are some ways to get started:

Keep your truck drivers satisfied. Drivers are in the driver’s seat today. They can do whatever they want, when they want, where they want, for whatever price they can get because carriers are often desperate for capacity. They can negotiate for better rates and better hours to return home every night and ask for better working conditions. Trucking companies may want to offer truck drivers route options and consider offering drivers perks like classes, a sign-on bonus, and even formal recognition for stellar service.

Total visibility into your transportation operations. With visibility into your transportation operations, you can track and trace your carrier movements to give more accurate ETAs that improve customer satisfaction.  Use the stream of data collected from ELDs, IoT sensors, and GPS/Telematics devices to make smarter data-driven decisions to improve efficiencies and optimize costs.

Optimize routes to lower fuel usage. By optimizing routes, your carriers use the least amount of fuel, which decreases carbon emissions, helping your organization meet its sustainability goals. With Route Optimization software you also improve asset utilization so that trucks ship fuller and there are less deadhead trips.

Adopt digital technologies. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for digital transformation. Automating paper processes improves efficiencies and increases productivity. By adopting digital technologies, your supply chain can keep up with the changing times and help you compete more effectively.

Improve your efficiencies. If you’re still using spreadsheets, this is a great time to consider using technology like the Axele TMS (now known as LoadOps) to improve your efficiencies, so you don’t have to add more trucks or drivers to get your customer jobs done. A TMS designed just for small-to-mid-sized truckload carriers helps fill trucks as full as possible, maximize space, eliminate deadhead miles, and optimize routes—all while keeping drivers satisfied by providing the route options they want.

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