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Roundup of Trucking Trends for 2019

by Charlotte Freed | Dec 21, 2018

Moving into 2019As the end of the year nears, the buzz around trends for 2019 only gets louder – and the trucking industry is no exception. In fact, with the flood of e-commerce, historically low unemployment, and new rules and regulations at every turn – trucking finds itself at the center of most change. What are some trends the experts are narrowing in on?

Capacity Crunch

What’s causing the low supply of trucks when the demand is so high? That would be the driver shortage. As more and more seasoned truckers retire and fewer new drivers join the ranks, the driver shortage only gets worse. Whether because of the nature of the job, pay rates, worsening traffic due to poor infrastructure, or regulations impacting the job – there are clearly factors keeping potential drivers away from careers in trucking that not only need to be addressed, but solved.

Climbing Rates

Thanks to the capacity crunch, rates are expected to increase…by a lot. Spot market and contract rates are predicted to rise due to the lack of trucks and robust tonnage growth…which ultimately effects other industries from manufacturing to logistics to retail. On top of that, interest rates may be influenced by an increase in national debt and trade difficulties with China.

Tech Movement

If 2018 was a big year for tech in trucking, 2019 may be even bigger. While the ELD mandate continues to divide opinions, additional freight apps are continually developed to benefit fleets and drivers alike. Mobile apps connecting truck drivers to jobs or allowing carriers to receive faster payment are only a few of the offerings that join rank in the interest of autonomous vehicles and electric-powered trucks

Smaller Fleets

Market data shows that out of hundreds of thousands of driver jobs created in the past half-decade, “more than a two to one ratio, drivers are entering one-to-100 truck fleets,” with the majority of those starting or joining fleets of one to six trucks. The capabilities that smaller fleets and drivers can access through tech are strengthening the ability to work independently, a trend seen among a host of industries.


The focus on data has only shed more light onto the benefits of blockchain for transportation. Using software that increases transparency through a distributed ledger with concrete data shared across multiple parties. However, widespread adoption will likely take time as it will be difficult to standardize software for trucking companies utilizing a wide variety of platforms.

Deep Data

Analyzing and adding actionable items around data will save companies money by preventing critical incidents or operations-halting occurrences, and help increase profits by creating channels for proactive moves toward running a smooth operation and satisfying customer demands.

Centerline continually reports on trends throughout the year with direct insights into the industry and drivers while staying up-to-date on all trucking news. 

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