Trucking is one of the most resilient and dependable freight transportation methods in the United States. The trucking industry has undergone many changes throughout the years, and 2023 is no exception. In this guide, we highlight key trucking news predictions for 2023.
1. We Will See a Return to Seasonality
Truckload shipping typically occurs in freight seasons that begin and end around the same times each year. The year usually starts with a quiet season from January to March. During this time, freight volume drops to its lowest point in the year because demand from retailers and consumers is low. Carriers usually spend this season refining their operations. Around the beginning of April, the produce season begins. This second freight season features a spike in freight volume and demands primarily due to the availability of fresh produce, higher customer demand at restaurants, and consumer preparations for warm-weather activities. The start of August coincides with the peak season field by back-to-school shopping and preparations for the holiday season. The final and fourth season is the shortest – only running through November and December. Consumers are making holiday purchases, and shippers are rushing to fulfill orders. The global pandemic completely disrupted this normal flow of seasonality. However, as we move beyond the pandemic, we will likely see a return to this rhythm.
2. Operating Costs Will Continue to Increase
A challenge carriers will likely face this year is a further increase in operating costs. Insurance, fuel, and equipment expenses are on the rise, and a potential recession may complicate matters. The impact of increasing operating costs will vary based on several economic factors still developing. One possible outcome is that another surge in fuel prices will prompt shippers to consolidate freight. This means that truckers will move less air. It also means that truckers may have more opportunities to reduce empty miles, which is good for the environment and a major boost in earnings.
3. Driver Retainment Initiatives Will Increase
Amidst supply and demand fluctuations, technological innovations, and societal shifts, we will likely see an emphasis on workplace culture. For many truckers, a positive workplace culture translates into a real road-home balance, supportive management, and 24/7 safety teams. Companies that do not set drivers up for success and well-being will quickly lose employees to companies that deliver on these promises. Ultimately, to retain drivers, companies will have to make sure drivers know they are valued as important team members.
4. Advancements in Technology Will Increase Visibility
Like almost every other industry, trucking is experiencing a rapid digital transformation. One of the most notable innovations in trucking is new visibility solutions for shipping containers. These tools can integrate with truck carrier systems and track electronic logging devices (ELDs) that are directly attached to the trucks. Drivers and other stakeholders can monitor the data on mobile applications. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can also increase visibility into fleet management and logistics to boost performance and improve vehicle utilization. IoT solutions will also help drivers reduce wait times at destinations and conduct predictive vehicle maintenance.
5. New Trucks in, Old Trucks for Less
2023 is likely to usher in many changes to the trucks on the road. Electric trucks are a hot topic, with Tesla’s semi-truck beginning production this year and many other manufacturers releasing electric vehicles this year. We will also likely see an increase in electric truck conversions as drivers and companies seek to enhance existing fleets. On the flip side, used truck prices will likely continue to fall due to downward pressure on the market. For fleet owners looking to expand, 2023 will present many exciting options.
6. Trucking News with First Star Logistics
It looks like 2023 will likely be another year of great innovation and change in the freight brokerage industry. At First Star Logistics, we are here for any twist and turn in the road. With over 60 years as a leading global logistics provider, we continue our legacy of driving industry growth. We also understand the importance of staying up to date with industry news and enjoy sharing our insights with our community. We publish updates and information through our blog, podcasts, videos, videocast, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
If you are looking to take your career to the next level with a future-thinking company, consider joining our team as a truck driver. We are always searching for experienced drivers across the entire nation. If you are interested in hauling for First Star Logistics, apply today!