What about Trucks? An Overlooked Industry

With the discovery and wonder of flight, the sheer size of some cargo/cruise ships that leave a person in awe, and the rapid technological evolution of personal vehicles, the development of the trucking industry has been somewhat overlooked. Other than enjoying the sound of their honks, or being frustrated when stuck behind one on the highway, most people do not pay much attention to the changes occurring. While the other modes of transportation (both freight and passenger) have improved immensely, trucks have remained relatively similar in terms of energy efficiency and appearance in the past 40 years, but have recently begun to show signs of life.

A life without trucks would be...

The importance of the trucking industry is not to be underestimated. Trucks are so vital to our economy and survival in fact that a mere week without their existence would cause our postal services, supermarkets, pharmacies and garbage collection services to collapse, leaving us in a state of chaos.

To put this in perspective, trucks are responsible for roughly 75% of the freight delivered within the EU, and 90% of the freight value (ACEA, 2015). Across the Atlantic in the United States, trucks consume approximately 12% of the fuel, despite the nation having almost one personal vehicle per citizen. On top of this, both the sales and production numbers of trucks are relatively stable in the EU and North America, and even growing in key markets such as Brazil, India, China and South East Asia. In fact, Vietnam is expected to double its truck sales by 2020 while Turkey and Indonesia are the fastest-growing and biggest truck markets outside of the developed and BRIC regions (PwC, 2014).

Percentage of regions responsible for truck sales (PwC, 2014)

The logistics of trucking are changing

The distance that most freight deliveries cover has also been affected in the modern era. The rise of companies such as Amazon and eBay have consumers pouncing on online purchases instead of going to shopping centres or malls. Compared to the trucking industry in the 1900s where freight was commonly delivered across countries, 85% of the freight today is delivered a mere 150 km or less (ACEA, 2015). Due to this, the stakeholders in logistics or the transportation field must also consider changes in truck size and efficiency in order to handle freight in urban areas and shorter distances more economically.

Due to the increase in deliverables as well as freight value, improving the logistics and ensuring the eco-friendliness of the trucks becomes a topic of the utmost importance. Several countries have also established stricter emissions limits, which significantly affect the future of the trucking industry. With that being said, let us go through some of the key developments and movements in the truck industry that have occurred recently or are occurring today.

The future looks brighter each day...

As we can see, the trucking industry is in the midst of a technological revolution, following its air, sea and personal ground transport counterparts. The strict emissions regulations and governance will only ensure that the changes occur swiftly, and we can all look forward to one day relaxing in a Road Train, taking a break from our long journeys wherever we may be headed.

About the author:

Dennis Melzer | Business Consultant | Dennis.Melzer@incadea.com

As a Business Consultant, Dennis focuses on supporting our clients all over the world in international projects in regards to making their business processes more efficient. While analyzing the processes and workflows within different OEMs, Dennis helps them to choose the best solution and proposes the possible improvements within the DMS used. One of the main interests that Dennis has is to analyze the newest automotive business trends and ensure that all the companies and customers are up to date on the ongoing changes in the automotive market.