You have to admit 2021 was still another challenging year in the freight transportation industry. In the last several years, you have been confronted with disruptions the likes of which have never been seen before. This is mostly due to COVID-19 and the ripple effects it has caused. Although it was beneficial for certain companies, the increase in consumer spending led to shipping concerns all around the nation and even further beyond.
Unfortunately, it seems that COVID continues to be a problem in 2022. The long-term forecast predicts more of the same difficulties as in 2021, including extended wait times at ports, truck capacity and manpower shortages, and increasing rates and fuel prices. We're in the midst of another tough year, but keep in mind that you don't have to tackle these challenges by yourself.
Trend #1: Transportation of goods is less complicated as a result of advances in technology
Decisions about the supply chain should be based on facts.
Here are some really intriguing news about the year 2022. Shipping has become less of a hassle and more data-driven as a result of developments in technology at the heart of logistics management. You have a better understanding of your supply chain with the aid of individualized enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, user-friendly transportation management systems (TMS), access to data that is updated in real time, and technological tools that are simple to use. You have an understanding of the areas in which adjustments may be made to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Choose logistics partners that have cutting-edge technology as your top priority.
If you have access to more advanced technology, then yes, innovative technology will help simplify and bolster your shipping procedure. However, this is only the case if you have access to more advanced technology.
Trend #2: Tackling the shortage problem of freight truck drivers
The number of people who drive commercial trucks is continuing to fall.
It's not unusual to have a scarcity of drivers. You have been exposed to it for a number of years. The Truck Action Plan was developed by the Biden-Harris Administration with the goal of attracting and training new drivers in 2022. The plan proposes, among other things, the elimination of obstacles in the process of obtaining a commercial license for truck drivers, the lowering of the minimum age requirement for commercial drivers, the encouragement of the development of driver apprenticeship programmes, and the hiring of women, veterans of the armed forces, and formerly incarcerated individuals as truck drivers.
Use carriers that have a large network of reliable drivers.
It is not feasible to predict which drivers will continue working for the company over the long term. Drivers who are younger and less satisfied with their jobs also quit the profession in droves. However, you have the option to inquire about turnover while you are vetting carriers. If you work with a 3PL provider, they should have a positive connection with their network of carriers and should give driver retention some thought when adding carriers to their portfolio. In addition, if you don't work with a 3PL provider, you should consider working with them.
Trend #3: Rising inflation and continual supply constraints
You should prepare for increased shipping prices.
When it comes to freight rates, both less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL), 2022 is another challenging year. Shipping costs might increase by between 3 and 5 percent in 2022 as a result of inflation, an unceasing demand for capacity, and a lack of available personnel. There is speculation that in 2022, prices for LTL shipments would first go up by 15%, but that they will then go down somewhat later in the year.
A helpful hint is to negotiate lower prices for the services you get.
Partnering with a logistics provider that has shown expertise may help you optimize your transportation spending while also preparing your supply chain for the unpredictable climate that exists in 2022. You will have access to a large network of qualified carriers as well as cheaper prices if you deal with a 3PL that has solid relationships.
Trend #4: Congestion at ports and bottlenecks in the supply chain
The backlog of shipments is expected to last until 2022.
Ships are still causing congestion at the ports as they wait their time to be emptied and loaded, and trucks are backed up waiting for those goods to become available. Because of all this traffic that came to a complete halt, there is now a scarcity of shipping containers, which continues to be an issue. The fact that businesses are storing their cargo in containers while they wait for vehicles to pick them up implies that there are fewer containers available for other shippers who are eager to have their items delivered.
Consider using one of the other available delivery alternatives.
Some shipping companies have a firm grasp over the availability of shipping containers or the means to acquire them. However, if your carrier isn't one of the fortunate ones, air freight may be a means of transportation that is suitable for your products.
Even though you have no influence over the freight trends for 2022, it is in your best interest to keep informed about them. You have the ability to rely on resources that can assist you in navigating these challenges and build on the resilience and agility that you have earned over the previous year.