Technology Trends to Watch for in 2022

The transportation technology trends for 2022 (say that five times fast) are here! Some good, some unfamiliar, but all are worth watching. Find out what the trending topics of 2022 could have in store for you and your business this year.

Predicted Trend #1: Carrier Bankruptcy and M&A

Carrier bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions are something have become more common over the last few years. While many trends can take years to realize, a carrier bankruptcy, merger or acquisition is something that can have a quick and immediate impact.

“As some smaller carriers continue to struggle with driver shortages and fuel costs, you will see larger companies continue to drive more acquisitions, and you’ll start to see the consolidation of the industry.” Professional Services Provider for Werner Enterprises, Jay Patel.

Recently, Werner made a successful acquisition of ECM, which has been an excellent pairing for the business and has allowed the company to take advantage of market spaces that have been underserved by Werner in the past. This acquisition also presented Werner with compelling driver retention strategies that are unique and attractive, helping the company address another trend – the driver shortage. ECM reinforces Werner’s efforts to provide drivers with competitive pay, opportunities to be home daily and the latest equipment models.

Predicted Trend #2: Predictive Technologies Aim to Support Driver Retention

Werner is continuing to leverage technology to improve driver retention.

“The driver shortage is an area that our technology definitely can have an impact. Utilizing our technology to make the life of the driver less complicated is the ultimate goal. We can use our technology to minimize downtime, so they aren’t spending a lot of their time on paperwork or in other areas; they’re on the road moving product.” – Patel

Werner utilizes predictive maintenance technologies to help keep drivers on the road by avoiding and preventing unexpected breakdowns. Predictive technology is a body of tools that can discover and analyze data patterns from past behavior that can be used to forecast likely future behavior. It will be used to help ensure drivers are not faced with unexpected breakdowns and repairs. Instead, it will enable drivers to seek maintenance for repairs to be made while on home time, instead of while they are over the road.

Predicted Trend #3: The Growth of eCommerce and Urbanization

The growth of eCommerce will continue to influence the transportation industry, as large companies, like Amazon, Walmart and others continue to move products without the need for a third-party logistics provider. Werner can maintain an advantage as a third-party logistics provider thanks to a strong Dedicated arm of the business. Companies like dollar stores and home improvement stores are considered “eCommerce proof” because they can maintain a large in-store retail presence. As eCommerce continues to grow, Werner is well-positioned to thrive in this environment as they have a diversified portfolio of customers and are prepared to continue servicing markets for the online and the in-person consumer.

Additionally, as the United States moves towards a more urban structure, with 83% of the country being considered urban areas, new transportation tactics and techniques will need to be adopted to serve those areas (O’Neill, 2022). With the potential of more, large, over-the-road deliveries that need to be made to inner-city areas as those populations continue to grow, Werner has been given the chance to create other solutions for providing services to more metropolitan spaces. Thanks to the growth of eCommerce and urbanization, Werner was able to recent expand its Final Mile offering.

“Werner’s recent acquisition of NEHDS allows us to compete more in the Final Mile space. There is an interesting trend with the ‘Last Minute, Last Mile’ services such as grocery or prescription delivery services. There are many smaller-scale service-oriented startups in place in city centers now that are emerging and are providing a new market for us.” – Senior Director of Product at Werner Enterprises, Neil Macleod.

Predicted Trend #4: Digitalization

To stay competitive, companies will need to adapt to the continual growth of digitization as it applies to digital freight platforms. Many companies are entering the industry with a digital business model trying to disrupt a legacy industry. Uber Freight and Convoy are two companies in the transportation industry that have already adopted the digital-facing model.

“There are some companies entering the market that are rethinking and reimagining what transportation and logistics can look like in a digital-first world. As everybody continues to struggle with resources, more and more facets of companies are going to turn to digitization”- Patel.

Leveraging a digital presence means more than just keeping up with the competition. It also provides an opportunity to explore and take advantage of the harvested data.

“The accessibility to data in those digital platforms is going to open up new opportunities. The exploration of IoT streaming data, the access to customer data, OE data, and maintenance vendor network data are going to open a world of opportunity. There is going to be a continued exploration of leveraging data to modernize decision making.” – Macleod.

A Trend Within the Trends

Can you spot the trend in these trends? Data application and technology are playing a more prominent role in the success of companies in the transportation industry than ever before. We’re excited to see what else the new year will bring to the industry!

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Sources:

O’Neill, A. (2022, February 2). United States – Urbanization 2020. Statista. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/269967/urbanization-in-the-united-states/