Equipment, Tech, and Emissions Top Trends in the Trucking Industry

As the trucking industry prepares to enter Q3, carriers, owner-operators, and even emerging fleet owners are staying on top of trends for advantages and possible obstacles for the second half of the year and beyond.

Going Green

Back in April, the EPA published its revised proposal for emissions in commercial and public transportation. The initial Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Phase 3 is slated for 2028-2032, though some realistically place the deadline at 2055. Whether carriers are early adopters or waiting out the deadline, major shifts are occurring in Washington, DC as well as in the private sector. Manufacturers are already making changes to meet the challenge of this initiative by developing the vehicles and equipment necessary to transform the way transportation works. The Executive Order that put the initiative in motion involves a major overhaul to low-emissions technology, working with electric vehicle manufacturers, making certain the infrastructure is in place, and developing tax incentives to offset the initial costs to the trucking industry to make the switch. The bigger picture is that by 2055, we will be able to reduce emissions greatly. The long-term financial impact will be that the transportation industry will be able to move away from diesel, which means sanctions, foreign conflicts, and just plain price gouging at the pump will no longer eat into the revenue of carriers and owner-operators.

Trucking Equipment

Currently, there are many carriers and owner-operators throughout the United States that are dealing with aging trucks and equipment. The shifting industry, taxes, technology, and more make the initial cost of purchasing very expensive. At the other end of the scale, new trucking companies typically do not have the capital on hand to purchase new equipment, nor are they thrilled at the idea of taking on more debt via loans just to purchase equipment that will depreciate the second it hits the road. Currently – and probably over the next few years – more carriers and owner-operators are trending towards saving money by leasing their equipment instead of purchasing it outright.

Embracing Technology

Technology has become so integrated in the trucking industry that carriers and owner-operators need to stay ahead of the curve. Standard smartphone GPS is not configured for Class-8 vehicles, so asking Siri to plot a route won’t work. Yet many in the trucking industry are technology-resistant for two reasons. One, technology costs money, and there is always something new just around the corner. Two, new technology means learning new processes or reskilling, which takes time and possibly more capital. More young people are being attracted to the trucking industry, and breaking trends from the past few years, they are making careers that go beyond the first year. The new people coming into the industry have never lived in a world without the Internet. They are tech-savvy and can adapt much more easily to new processes. Between technology and the chance to make a good salary while traveling, the new generation of truckers is making it much easier for the industry to embrace and wrangle new gadgets and apps without meeting much resistance or needing to take extensive training courses.

Preparing for the Unexpected

Whether a truck needs a repair in the middle of a haul, uneven revenue cycles, or – perhaps the best scenario – an opportunity for growth, trucking companies and owner-operators alike need to prepare for the unexpected. If there is one constant, it is that the unexpected, whether negative or positive, requires capital. Trucking companies and owner-operators need to improve cash flow, cover overhead, and build up capital reserves to handle unexpected situations and time-sensitive opportunities. In the current economic climate, taking out debt-based loans will not solve any unexpected issues. Loans take too long to process, lenders are raising their credit and collateral requirements, and no one wants to be saddled with debt. To cover their bases, more fleet owners and owner-operators are using freight bill factoring. Instead of waiting on their customers to pay invoices with payment schedules of 30, 60, or even 90 days, freight bill factoring turns receivables into cash quickly and efficiently. Single Point Capital offers comprehensive freight bill factoring, and we make funds available within a single day. Additionally, our Single Point App allows drivers to factor invoices while they are on the road.

If you want to learn more about our freight bill factoring or any of our other programs, contact the team at Single Point Capital today.