2018--A Big Year.
And just like that, another year in transportation and logistics is ready to blow right past us. I think when we look back, the way we all do-we’ll be shocked by the fluctuations and change in our ever-volatile industry. You know what this means? The logistics industry is built to adapt--and adapt we do!
Change is the name of the game.
Like all of us, you’ve seen lots of change this year. We weathered the implementation of the ELD-rule with fewer hiccups than predicted. The driver shortage continued to dominate discussion and worries across the supply chain. While new technologies like platooning, autonomous vehicles, and the benefits of BlockChain captivated the minds of forward-thinking experts.
Here at Squirrel Works, these changes and innovations got us thinking and questioning. What should we be looking for and talking about in 2019? After all, we want to stay ahead of the game in an industry that moves forward every day.
Ask the heavy hitters.
That’s what we did! We reached out to some of the smartest transportation people we knew. And we asked them what they thought we should be talking and thinking about as 2018 turns into 2019.
We talked to Kevin Hill, President and Founder of CarrierLists, Charlie Saffro, Executive Recruiter and Founder at CS Recruiting, Michael Riccio, Chief Marketing Officer of Leonards Express, and Jeremy Reymer , Founder and CEO at DriverReach and here’s what we found out.
The Expert Opinions.
“Everyone is talking about the driver shortage, ELDS, and tight capacity in 2018,” said Kevin Hill. “I think there’s a risk with all the optimism that we might see an oversupply of trucks to freight in 2018.” He explained that lots of trucking companies have been trying to expand quickly during the past 12 months due to tight capacity. His worry is what happens if freight volumes stagnate or fall off a bit.
It’s a good point. And something all of us should be watching for as capacity loosened up a bit these last few weeks of 2018.
Charlie Saffro of CS Recruiting spoke from the hiring side of the equation. “From my point of view,” she said, “the supply and demand of professional talent needs to be discussed more. Hiring is often reactive vs. proactive,” Saffro explained. “Companies will secure better talent through proper talent planning and commitment to the talent acquisition process.”
The logistics industry (for-hire transportation and warehousing) employs about 5 million people in the United States. This industry is expected to grow--so Saffro’s concern with hiring the best people to fill these important jobs makes a lot of sense.
Jeremy Reymer of DriverReach spoke on the emerging technology pieces entering the industry. "there’s a lot of talk, and heavy investment, in technology related to freight management, blockchain, and autonomous vehicles, but the industry is lagging in the area of HR and recruiting technology - especially as the demand for labor is so tight.
Other more progressive industries are leading the way. It’s time for trucking to join the modern era in recruiting technology."
Our good friend, Michael Riccio had several great insights to offer. He started off talking about the driver shortage. “
“This will (HAS) be talked about a lot; however, it still is important,”
,” Riccio began, and that’s the driver shortage.” He went on, “In addition to that, hiring qualified talent in general. And then training that talent.”
Riccio also discussed what he called “a sneaky issue that does not get a lot of press” and that refers to states raising taxes--specifically fuel taxes. Riccio noted that states such as Pennsylvania, Indiana, and New Jersey have recently done this and more states will follow. “Because these are regional issues, they do not get a lot of national press,” Riccio said, “ however they have large impacts on those folks operating in those regions.”
In addition to the driver shortage and taxes, Michael Riccio discussed the ever increasing cost of operating a truck as well as the technological frontier. About technology, Riccio said, “Technology will continue to be an issue, specifically as it pertains to what will be useful and what will be a “flash in the pan.” He pointed out how important it is with so much available data, to decipher what is useful and what isn’t. (due to technology, equipment cost is up and there is a long lag time to get a new truck once you place your order)
Here at Squirrel Works,
we’re grateful for the great friends we’ve made in the transportation industry. Their insights are extremely helpful as we plan for the changes and fluctuations that are sure to occur in 2019.
Hats off to Kevin Hill, Charlie Saffro, Jeremy Reymer, and Michael Riccio, for taking the time to think about the most important issues in the transportation industry.