As turbulent as the last few years have been in the trucking industry, the next decade or so is setting up to be an incredible time of change and innovation. In this edition of DriverReach Chats, DriverReach CEO and Founder Jeremy Reymer sat down with Steve Bryan, Entrepreneur and Founder of Vigillo, to discuss the opportunities and challenges in store for the trucking industry over the next few months.After successfully selling Vigillio – a technology company that helps carriers manage risk – to SambaSafety in 2017, Steve continued as an industry thought leader in the trucking technology space. In his conversation with Jeremy, Steve said, “It’s not just that we have moved down the scale when it comes to technology. It’s that it is accelerating so fast that if we fall behind, we won’t be able to keep up.”
The trucking industry is at a crossroads, and, according to Steve, the events of 2020 have played a large part in where the industry will head next. Here are a few highlights from Steve and Jeremy’s conversation, which you can watch in full here.
Big things are in store over the next few months
There will never be a lack of issues and challenges in the trucking industry, especially when it comes to safety, compliance, and regulations. Insurance costs are rising, there are new hours of service rules being implemented, changes are coming to the CSA program, and carriers are being faced with huge “nuclear” verdicts from lawsuits – and these are just a handful of things industry leaders are dealing with.
Luckily, technology is available to make the entire industry more effective and efficient. But with new technology comes new forms of data. While data is great, not knowing how to use it and make it actionable in your business can actually hurt your success. So, carriers will need to use the next few months to turn to technology – if they haven’t already – to be able to survive and thrive.
There will be growth, but drivers are still needed.
While 2020 saw the entire global economy flipped on its head due to the COVID-19 crisis, the way the trucking industry adapted to the changes was actually very impressive. And now, many people in the industry are projecting 2021 to be a record year for carriers. Huge numbers of trailers are being ordered and industry experts are getting excited. But this increase in supply won’t mean anything without drivers.
The driver shortage has been an industry buzzword for years now, but 2020 really turned this issue up to 11. More drivers left the industry for new opportunities, while the new Clearinghouse regulations eliminated more than 35,000 drivers from applicant status. By taking an innovative approach to hiring – such as working with the new 18-20 year old ruling or implementing an on-demand recruitment strategy – recruiters can fill the gaps and get new drivers on the road.
New technology may be closer than we think
One point that Steve brought up in his conversation with Jeremy is that some technology – such as autonomous vehicles – may be closer than we think. In many ways, the COVID-19 crisis has given the industry permission to use technology in new ways that wouldn’t have been capable before. It has given the industry a chance to take risks and experiment in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago. And while this technology won’t replace human drivers, it will help augment the driver experience and help close the gaps left by the driver shortage.
You can watch Steve’s episode of DriverReach Chats, along with others in the series, here.
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
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