Key Takeaways on the Trucking Industry in 2022
Originally appeared in Fleet Owner
From ongoing supply chain problems to new developments in trucking technology, ATA’s annual TMC event provided real-world perspective on what’s really happening in the industry.
Every time I attend an American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting and Exposition, I leave with a better sense of what’s going on in the trucking industry. This year’s meeting was no different, and I left with several key takeaways.
Ongoing supply chain issues
I had hoped to hear that the end was in sight for delays in the delivery of new trucks and for the replacement parts shortage. Unfortunately, that was not the case. In fact, there does not seem to be consensus on when we will be through this latest challenge. Regarding the ultimate end to the supply chain issues, some OEMs indicated it would be the end of 2022. Others said the end of 2023. So, the jury is still out. I believe we are going to have new equipment delivery issues into 2024.
One no-show: OEMs’ price books
As of the TMC meeting, OEMs had not published their 2023 price books. Budgeting remains an issue for fleets, and the unknown cost structure for 2023 makes it challenging to determine assets that need replacement and those to keep. Prices will be higher, but just how high remains to be seen. Supply chain issues are, in part, to blame. However, since OEMs don’t know how much more basic materials will cost them, they are delaying new equipment pricing.
Allocations are a real possibility
Given materials shortages—especially the ongoing lack of microchips—vehicle production will be down again. That means OEMs will put dealers and fleets on allocation. Fleets should be prepared to extend the life of current assets once again, as it is highly unlikely they will get all the trucks they would like to order.
Technology surrounds us
There was much talk about new technology, including tire monitoring, in-cab tech, maintenance software, and more. Manufacturers’ booths were filled with the latest and the greatest innovation designed to make trucking safer and more efficient. Changes are happening at a dizzying pace in trucking, so we all need to stay updated on technologies that show the most promise.
New entrants abound
There are many new faces in trucking—primarily in the technology space. These “new kids” could potentially pass up the “old-school” manufacturers who have been the mainstay for decades. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will we see mergers of the old and new to leverage technology and industry know-how? Stay tuned.
I am glad I attended TMC this year. Not only did I learn a lot in the formal meetings and on the show floor, but I also got to talk face to face with fleets and suppliers to gain the real-world perspective on what’s really happening in the industry.
At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap. To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.