Trends in the trucking industry for 2014

The demand for truck deliveries is increasing in 2014, and fleets are working to optimize efficiency.

The demand for truck deliveries is increasing in 2014, and fleets are working to optimize efficiency.

The trucking industry in the U.S. is managing to remain healthy despite some recent concerns about government regulation and employee shortages. Forbes reports that in 2013 trucks moved 69.1 percent of all domestic shipments, which is an increase from the previous year. 

In fact, trucking fleets are expected to grow over the course of the next year due to greater demand. The American Trucking Association has shared data that suggests there will be a 3.2 percent volume increase in truckloads through 2018, leading industry experts to call for changes in regulation that will allow an increased capacity to be carried by each vehicle.

In a recent article, Forbes outlined changes occurring in the business. 

"Technology has enabled the industry to save fuel, be safer, and utilize better routing and packing systems, and otherwise take costs and time out of the supply chain system – which benefits all of us. The opportunity to deliver even greater efficiency, however, lies in the use of greater capacity and more technologically advanced trucks that can bring more goods to market," the article says. Changes in trucking legislation could have a positive impact on fleets in the future. 

FleetOwner also suggests that the refrigerated trucking business is holding steadier in general than other shipping services, because there is a consistent demand for the shipment of food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, which all require  temperature-controlled environments. 

John Larkin, a managing director and head of transportation research at a Wall Street investment firm, confirms that the local food movement is having an effect on refrigerated shipping practices, saying,"We focus more and more on fresh food, eating healthy, etc., and many retailers have opted for regional sourcing strategies. There's a limit to how much regional sourcing you can do due to weather constraints, growing seasons, and so forth, but in general we're becoming a little bit more of a regionalized distribution network in the U.S." 

Demand for truck deliveries will only continue to grow, and it is up to individual fleets to insure that the most recent technology, route plans and packing systems be utilized for a streamlined shipping process.