With 2021 behind us and 2022 just beginning, now is a great time to draw attention to some of the positive things the trucking industry has to look forward to in the upcoming year. 2021 was challenging in many ways: it was the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, saw widespread supply chain challenges many are still dealing with, and saw trucking impacted by natural disasters (like the flooding in BC and resulting road closures).
In the sections below, we will discuss some of the things that will benefit our industry as we start a new year.
Trucking is constantly improving in terms of safety. Vehicle manufacturers create safety technology on a continual basis, and it doesn’t take long to see this technology appear in vehicles on dealership lots.
One of the most public examples of safety technology has to do with self-driving trucks. While such technology is interesting to consider, many other advances are being made, too. Volvo’s Active Driver Assist is just such an advancement. By sensing objects in the vicinity of the truck and being able to apply the brakes if the system does not detect any action from the driver, Volvo is stepping up the safety game by providing technologies that help avoid collisions.
No manufacturer is ignoring safety concerns. While self-driving vehicles will likely continue to hog the spotlight in the technological world of trucking, truck buyers today have access to some of the safest vehicles ever made.
Strong Trucking Market
As the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people shopped and shed light on weaknesses in parts of the supply chain, it also showed how much demand there is for trucking. Trucking has grown so much that freight rates are skyrocketing in some industry segments.
The media has told the story of backlogged container ships, empty store shelves, and high demands for trucks and their drivers. While there are many challenges that face carriers – especially in terms of finding enough suitable drivers for their equipment – one thing is for sure: trucking is an industry with a strong future for 2022. People looking for an industry that is unlikely to stop being busy should consider careers in trucking.
Truck drivers with experience and clean safety records are in high demand. Even though individual carriers may be volatile and not all jobs are the same, skilled truck drivers will continue to enjoy lots of different opportunities for work as 2022 unfolds.
Trucking, despite being a heavy consumer of fossil fuels, is moving forward in terms of environmentally-friendly technology. Hydrogen fuel projects in Alberta and electrification of local haulers in California are just a few examples of the efforts being made to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the trucking industry.
As 2022 progresses, we can expect to hear more about alternate power sources for trucks. While regional operators will be the first to see widespread adoption of such technology – it is hard to match the range a modern diesel engine offers – carriers will start to see how zero-emission vehicles can be of benefit to their operations.
For some carriers, zero-emission technology seems out of reach. However, prices will go down and accessibility will go up as technology begins to see adoption from the industry. Don’t worry about diesel becoming obsolete anytime soon, though – we will see zero and low-emission vehicles run alongside diesel for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has given us many things to complain about. Now that 2022 is upon us and COVID is still a factor in our daily lives, many people are surely upset to continue to have to live with the uncertainty this virus has placed upon us. However, the future is bright in many ways, and as the year progresses, we will see many more things to be thankful for in the trucking industry.