Bright red modern big rig semi truck with semi trailer move withThe trucking industry is expected to do big things in 2021. With the pandemic raging and many Americans still stuck at home, easy access to groceries and other necessary supplies is more important than ever. To prevent panic buying and empty store shelves, trucking companies will need to step up. Here’s a closer look at three trends to watch in the year ahead:

1.) Increased volume. A report from FreightWaves conducted in July 2020 found that truckload volumes were up 27% year-over-year. Industry experts say these conditions favor carriers and give them the upper hand when negotiating. Three sectors, in particular, are expected to grow at a rapid pace in the new year: manufacturing, energy and automotive. That’s great news for trucking outfits tasked with transporting these types of heavy equipment.

2.) Improved salaries. The increased demand for freight has resulted in a trucker shortage. To incentivize new drivers, spot rates are nearly double what they once were. In fact, JTL CDL Training says the average salary for a truck driver is between $50,000 and 65,000. For entry-level drivers, it’s between $40,000 and 50,000. If your company isn’t handing out raises, consider investing in professional training. Special certifications such as hazmat can increase your pay.

3.) Alternative fuel vehicles. Gasoline and diesel won’t go away any time soon, but the trucking industry is already planning for the future. A growing number of trucking businesses are investing in rigs that run on hydrogen, electricity and natural gas. These alternative fuel vehicles significantly cut down on CO2 emissions, ensuring planet Earth remains habitable for generations to come.

What do you predict for the trucking industry in 2021? If you’ve got an opinion, visit our Facebook page and leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.