Trends Affecting the Trucking Industry in 2022

March 18, 2022

Trends Affecting the Trucking Industry in 2022

Moving goods across the country is an essential part of American commerce. And this year there are some important industry trends to keep track of to make sure your business is adjusting to the ever-changing landscape. 

Why is the trucking industry slowing down?

2021 saw unprecedented demand for trucking services and truck drivers, but rising operating costs have impacted many trucking companies’ ability to stay afloat. Below are some contributing factors the industry is still facing in 2022:

Fuel Costs

You’re probably already aware of the rising price of fuel in the first half of 2022. While gasoline is the focus of most consumers and news reports, the cost of diesel is also increasing. We may see a push for alternative fuels if the price of diesel continues to rise. Fuel prices fluctuate throughout the year for a variety of reasons, and this is a cost to always keep in mind when planning your fleet’s operations budget. Freight rates may see an increase to compensate for the high price of fuel.

Carrier Bankruptcy

While many companies have seen unprecedented growth, there have also been those that were unable to turn a profit recently. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, many carriers large and small have recently been unable to weather the instability of the industry over the past few years.  

Drivers in Demand

With many older truckers retiring, low or stagnant wages, and high turnover rates, and carriers struggling to attract younger people, there is a nationwide driver shortage. And while new drivers are getting their CDL every day, there are still a lot of jobs to fill. Carriers will likely have to start offering robust incentive programs to keep good drivers and get new ones. 

What is the future of the trucking industry?

The future of the trucking industry is bright. Before the pandemic, most consumers were ignorant of everything that goes into getting their favorite products on store shelves. Now, “supply chain issues” is a phrase so common it feels inescapable. With the increase in public scrutiny, we expect to see changes, and opportunities for expansion that perhaps were not available before the public was so aware of the issues facing the freight transportation industry.

More Tech Solutions

Drivers are already using a lot of technology that wasn’t available even three or four years ago. Electronic logs are the norm for all drivers now. GPS navigation systems and apps are invaluable and have made Thomas Guides obsolete. This year there will definitely be more opportunities for tech solutions to issues drivers face. And the role of software in managing logistics will only increase. 

Automation is a trending topic in the freight industry lately. Autonomous vehicles are gaining traction with safety regulators, and autonomous trucks will likely be much more prevalent on the road over the next few years as the technology advances and improves.

Electric trucks are already being tested in an effort to reduce emissions and go green, and as fuel prices climb, many trucking companies may find themselves looking for more alternatives to diesel engines.


The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a dramatic increase in online sales, and not just for Amazon. Last year people were reluctant to go to stores, even if they were open for in-person shopping. As the pandemic continues, many shoppers are still getting their goods online despite most stores being open and available for physical shopping. And as the e-commerce industry grows, the trucking industry must grow with it. Goods can’t very well be delivered to a shopper’s home without first being trucked to the fulfillment center.

How is the trucking industry doing?

The bottom line is that even though there have been challenges and disruptions in recent years, the trucking industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With the increase in e-commerce and the urbanization of previously rural areas, the trucking industry is likely to experience significant growth in both truckload and LTL shipments in the coming year. The key will be to keep enough drivers employed to meet the rising demand.

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