Automation and the Future of Trucking


We are currently entering the new age of trucking and certainly the biggest change in the way the transportation industry works.

The last time the transportation industry went through a change in dynamic this dramatic, back in 1980 when it became deregulated, 94% of the top leading companies went under.


So this could mean that as much as 9 out of 10 existing companies could disappear in the next 15 years.

Noël Perry, an economist that has been tracking this industry for more than 40 years, says the shift towards automated trucking is “the most powerful thing to hit us since the building of the superhighways in the 1950s.”

When this happens, it will have a deep domino effect on brick and mortar retail. After all, what’s the point of going to a store if you can have pretty much any product delivered to your home immediately? “That’s why it’s so radical,” Perry says.

We’re looking at the biggest change in supply chain practice, maybe the biggest economic change since the invention of the steam engine over 200 years ago.


So what does this mean for the trucking industry over the next 10 to 20 years?

Among many predictions and insights into the future of trucking, most experts generally believe that the industry will double its productivity rates and cut travel times in half within approximately 15 years through automated fleets.

This is a very big deal for transportation and for the economy as a whole, it will certainly turn the business upside down.

Productivity will double, hours on the road will at least triple, the delivery cost will drop by more than 50%, downtime and safety concerns will be almost non-existent.

Currently, there are two things keeping trucking firms alive. The first one is the ability to match demand and supply (which is extremely important) and the second is the knowledge by experience that drivers provide.

Yes, transitional periods can be scary uncertain times, specially for drivers, you might not know what the future holds or if trucking will be a solid career to pursue in the next 10 to 20 years, however, if you eliminate drivers completely, you eliminate the valuable knowledge, experience, and critical thinking and ability to solve problems that you only get from spending years on the road.

The amount of road wisdom truckers provide is unmeasurable and THAT is something that no machine, no matter how intelligent, can match.

We can’t say what trucking will become or if it will remain the same, but we can assure you that the only thing to do at this point is to evolve in the same way the industry is. We must transform ourselves and grow with it.

While staying healthy on the road, If you are shopping around for a new truck or need working capital, apply for a loan here.