Trucking in the 21st Century
Modern Day Trucking Trends
Updated July 2021
The trucking industry has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings of freight transportation in the early 20th century. Trucking in 2021 has led to advancements being made in fields such as technology, automation, and load capacity. However, one problem has continued to plague truckers since the beginning, that being the never-ending driver shortage. Finding a solution to this issue will be a major key in the future of CDL training and trucking as a whole.
Where is the Industry Headed?
The shortage is only getting worse in today’s times with the amount of freight needing to be transported growing rapidly. Along with this comes the struggles of finding the drivers of tomorrow, with the average age of the industry being 49. As the world continues on with its increased consumer habits, the gap of willing and qualified drivers available to move those goods widens.
A possible solution to this problem seems to be the production of autonomous trucks, enabling more freight to be moved with fewer drivers. However, this is still currently more of a dream than an actual solution, with experts estimating fully autonomous trucking realistically not being around for another 20 years. At the rate the world is changing we do not have 20 years to wait on the technology needed.
The public image of what it means to be a trucker is adding to the difficulty of engaging a new audience and should be one of the first things addressed. The problems that come with a driver shortage should not be under looked and the importance of having qualified Class A drivers for the future should not be overlooked. With the path trucking is currently going down, a future with an even larger driver shortage is not out of reach.
Trucking Advantages in 2021
Technology may still be part of the solution to the answer to the driver shortage problem. Advancing technologies being used in transportation are making the job both more future-friendly and enjoyable for the drivers. No longer are the classic trucking days of maps, radios, and fast food. Today truck drivers have global GPS, unlimited options of entertainment while on the road, and mobile food ordering that is greatly improving their quality of living.
The short time it takes to graduate and opportunities for online training are both possible selling points when it comes to recruiting new drivers. Almost all forms of higher education cost more out of pocket than a trucking school, making them a great option for everyone. The online classes available were a huge advancement in trucking and even allow people who are working full time to still get started on a new career quickly.
The opportunities for women in trucking are also taking off in 2021, with more women than ever joining the field as the number of women truck drivers increased from 6% in 2018 to 10% in 2021. Women have shown that they belong in the industry, with many carriers even preferring women and their 50% less chance of getting in an accident their first year. They enjoy all the same great benefits of trucking such as consistent pay, the opportunity for advancement, and freedom of the open road!
Moving Towards a Brighter Future
Trucking has the unique problem of having too much work for too little people and that problem will continue on into the coming future. The solution is not yet trucks that drive themselves but convincing a new generation of people what a promising career they can have with transportation services. With the assistance of marketing and technology changing the way, trucking is seen by the public, could prove to be an effective way to combat the driver shortage. While the industry has grown over the years its problems have grown with it, making the need for a solution higher than ever before. Refreshing the image of trucking in 2021 could prove to be the answer to the driver shortage and show the world how crucial and important trucking is for our future.
Post-Covid Trucking Outlook
Some of the concerns the trucking industry has been facing were worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Trucking companies have had to adapt to change faster than ever before. Carriers are trying to welcome new changes to the industry. Some of the ways that the trucking companies are changing in the future are:
- Increasing pay to draw in new, younger drivers and retain current drivers
- More hours when the driver can be paid
- Showing communities how important truck drivers are to increase the amount of respect drivers receive.
- Making the safety and quality of life of drivers more important while they are on the road.
- Changing training programs to make it easier for drivers to get started.
As the trucking industry moves into the future there are adaptations that have to be made. Several changes can already be seen today as the world begins to recover.