The trucking industry experienced a lot over the past year. 2017 started with a number of vacancies in the trucking industry that only seemed to prow in number by the end of the year. The mandate for electronic logging devices sparked heated debates on both sides. Finally, looming in the background, as it has for the past few years, was the threat of self-driving trucks. However, for all of the concerns of the past year, the outlook for the trucking industry in 2018 is much more hopeful.

Trucking In A Stronger Economy

Despite apprehensions, the economy in the United States has become even stronger. There are more jobs available, and the opportunities for more revenue have companies giving incentives to employees to build up the workforce. This has also been adopted by fleets and recruiters. Yes, it is true that there is still a shortage of truckers, but the industry is offering sign-on bonuses to attract and keep new drivers. There is also some discussion about a shift in wages for truck drivers, bringing them up from a rate which largely has not changed since the 1980s.

A More Diverse Group Of Drivers

The need for more drivers in 2017 saw people stepping up to the plate from two unlikely demographics. First, more women are becoming truckers to fill the vacant seats across the industry. The trucking industry offers fair salaries regardless of gender, as well as the opportunity for higher earnings when compared to other fields. The second pool for new truck drivers is coming from military veterans. Most returning veterans already have training in driving heavy and Class-8 vehicles. Additionally, many veterans are trained in basic First Aid procedures, allowing them to help out in case of an accident. Both groups are among the safest drivers in the United States, which means fewer collisions and injuries for fleets.

Trucking Fleets Plan To Expand In 2018

With a new wave of drivers coming into the industry, and the demand for shipping approaching a new high, fleets plan on expanding this year. As we reported recently, some carriers have already put in pre-orders for electric trucks, but that will not cover the immediate demand and revenue opportunities. Some fleets are looking to expand upwards of 50 percent over the course of this year.

The trucking industry is undergoing some major changes, but the solutions are coming from exciting and unlikely corners to keep our economy going strong for years to come.