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2021 Recap: The Future of Freight and Trucking

2021 Recap: The Future of Freight and Trucking

When considering how the trucking industry evolved over the past months of 2021 approaching 2022, it's best to start with the driver. Freight was and is constantly increasing, and the trucking industry requires more drivers to keep up. Companies are also dealing with the steady rise in freight charges in order to retain demand. The impression is that as a result, drivers will make more money this year round. Here's how drivers and freight loads were managed in 2021 as the new year approached, as well as why factoring was and remains to be the best option for continuing to expand in the year ahead.


Less and Less Drivers

The COVID-19 epidemic and the economic recovery had the greatest impact on the trucking business in 2021. As a result of drivers who are no longer driving owing to various reasons, there has been a decrease in the number of drivers. During shutdowns, local deliveries to merchants, restaurants, and other in-person places of business were halted, resulting in an increase in trucking firm closures.

Those who are looking to start a career as a truck driver are the ones who are benefiting the most right now. Person-to-person interaction in a closed vehicle is provided through the Department of Transportation's Driver License Services and truck driver training institutions.  While these were shuttered throughout COVID, most trucking schools and DOT offices around the country are open as of August 2021. Candidates make an appointment with the DOT to schedule a CDL exam, just like before COVID. Depending on how many other driver trainees are in the line ahead, this usually takes some time. Due to the epidemic, if you want to take the in-person truck driver training that is required to obtain a CDL as a new driver, you will have to wait longer than usual.


Driver Shortage Growing

As a result, the driver shortage, which has long been a worry, has become more severe than ever. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, the number of driver job postings fell by 38%. The problem is that posting trucking jobs online has been demonstrated to be unproductive. According to a Department of Labor survey of truck driver job skills, they are unlikely to use the internet to get a trucking job.

In summary, the truck driver shortage means that demand for truck drivers is increasing, owing to the importance of this employment for product distribution and supply chain re-establishment. This situation may alter if the value of financial help packages begins to decline. For the time being, trucking companies should concentrate on providing the greatest possible working conditions and corporate cultures in order to keep their employees happy and continue to develop, taking advantage of the industry's current driver scarcity.


Increasing Demand for Freight Drops

The increase in inventory puts pressure on the trucking industry when businesses see in-person sales ramp up again. For 2021 and 2022, here is where carriers step up the pace. However, the shortage of available drivers raises freight demand even more. The for-hire freight market, according to Truck News, is declining but remaining stable. The Freight Transportation Services Index reached a high of 141.9 in August 2019 and a low of 125.5 in April 2020 between June 2016 and June 2021. The value was high again in June 2021, at 136.9, up 5.9% from June 2020. The fact that this index is high but stable indicates that the trucking sector will continue to have challenges in terms of driver and carrier capacity in 2022.

Final Thoughts on 2021

Finally, the rush for inventory and desire to grow the market in 2021 has been and will carry on being combative with the driver shortage and carrier quality of service. Only by ensuring a consistent stream of skilled commercial drivers can the freight industry be slowed and freight rates stabilized. To maintain driver retention, the industry also requires a mechanism for potential drivers to identify trucking employment that they are missing, as well as better work environments. For the time being, as long as trucking companies properly meet their obstacles, the outlook for the industry's growth is highly promising.


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