Top 8 Transportation Industry Trends in 2021
With growing competition in the transportation sector, involved companies should deploy new existing technologies and extensively improve the quality of their services to remain in the business. In this article, we’ll find out what are the current trends in the transportation industry and which upcoming winning strategies will lead the entire transport sphere in 2021?
Shipping goods is a significant part of the economy in each country. According to Statista, truck transportation contributed more than $150 billion to the US nation’s gross domestic product in 2016. Solely FedEx, the leading freight transportation company, generated over $60 million of revenue in the same year. Logistics companies are mostly focused on servicing an E-commerce market. Fred Smith, a founder of FedEx, forecasted this market to reach the value of nearly $2.4 trillion by 2018 with its 26% growth compared to 2016.
The key to the success in the transportation business is offering the most cost-effective, flexible, and efficient services. That’s why shipping companies should turn towards the most recent trends in transportation and follow the strategies that will help to outcompete the other market players. Let’s get started.
Trend #1: Cloud-Based Systems Adoption
One of the biggest transport industry trends for 2021 is cloud-based systems adoption, since the platforms in the cloud force a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model which opens unlimited opportunities for companies scalability and innovative digital resources usage. It allows reaching higher profitability and exceeding the common returns of on-premise systems’ capabilities.
Read more about Elimination of human factor in transportation.
Trend #2: Integrated, Frictionless Travel
The necessity to make travel more smooth and hassle-free is mostly manifested through the rise of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).
However, the number of new trends in the transportation industry, combined and aimed at minimal stoppages or checkpoints result in this one key drift to integrated travel and transportation. The minor tendencies are optimization of the infrastructure, creation of the mobility hubs for multimodal transportation, building platforms for ticketless travel, and introduction of the innovations in micromobility and last-mile connections.
Trend #3: Visibility and Anti-Theft GPS
Today E-Commerce, retail, and logistic companies are getting focused on the increased visibility, thus, tracking technologies adoption and adjustment for increased traceability are among the major driving trends in the transportation industry this year. Anti-Theft GPS, for instance, is a means to receive near real-time locations for entire fleets and separate items in transit. The extra security protocols will also help avoid losses across the board.
Trend #4: Self-Driving Trucks
The technology for self-driving trucks is still under perfecting and it has to overcome certain obstacles, such as improving driverless software to make it able to efficiently operate on urban roads with heavy traffic. However, it’s one of the transportation future trends. In the long-term perspective, transportation businesses should prepare for upcoming technology changes within the industry and start equipping their trucks with self-navigating management systems that can «learn» from real drivers.
Due to artificial intelligence (AI) and myriad sensors, an AI-enabled vehicle can correctly evaluate road conditions and learn from how truck drivers behave under «unusual» conditions on the road. Through vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, trucks can share the learned information and make other vehicles smarter. Besides, the 5G technology spreading will catalyze the adoption of self-driving fleets. In the long-term, these vehicles can potentially become better drivers than human operators.
In fact, this future is even closer than it can seem. Tesla’s electric Semi truck have autopilot features which can greatly facilitate the driving process. Walmart, along with many other companies, such as Pepsi, Asko, and Loblaw confirmed having ordered Tesla Semi trucks for their commercial needs.
Trend #5: Regulation Compliance
It will be more correct to say that regulatory compliance is a must rather than one of the latest trends in transportation. Commercial transport companies should stay up-to-date on recent requirements and regulations adopted, changed, or removed by any local, state, or federal government. Whether they are regulations regarding electronic logbooks, overtime, or safety rules, timely monitoring regulations will always be a trend.
Trend #6: Blockchain in Logistics
Blockchain is one of those transformative technology trends in distribution and transportation, that shape the mobility in 2021 and beyond. One of the perspective use cases for the blockchain technology in trucking is ensuring the accuracy of performance history records. When a truck gets sold for the second time, potential customers may have questions about how this vehicle was used. Since blockchain transactions are immutable and transparent, all parties involved in a transaction can be sure that the information about the truck is trustworthy.
Another perspective use of blockchain in transportation is capacity monitoring. The cost of transportation depends on cargo volume. The use of Internet-of-things (IoT) sensors can help determine the amount of space a particular cargo occupies. This data can be used to calculate the shipment cost. Storing this information into a blockchain-based system signed with a smart contract will allow self-executing payments on a base of the amount of space taken by the freight.
Trend #7: Address Delivery
The growth of E-commerce businesses leads to a rising demand for address deliveries. Providing better service means being more competitive. Heavy trucking businesses should consider adding a fleet of small vehicles to conquer a bigger piece of the market. Therefore, optimization of the last mile deliveries is one of the transport and logistics industry trends of 2021.
Trend #8: Drone Delivery
Within a last-mile delivery focus tendency among both retailers and transportation companies, some companies already deliver packages to the citizens and companies by drones. At the end of 2016, Amazon first delivered an order to its customer using a drone. This delivery was conducted in England within Amazon’s new program called Prime Air which implied that a customer could get a package in 30 minutes. After Amazon’s success, various companies started investing in drone delivery to increase the cost-effectiveness of their business and customer experience as well.
In the EON of COVID-19 the contactless address delivery became the most popular and required of all the present-day transportation industry trends. It motivated even more companies to turn their eyes to this delivery option and start adopting it.
We have recently fulfilled the project for a car order service. The client came to us with his business idea and vision, and the Stfalcon team helped him to identify the needs of the users, to study the mobile solutions of local competitors and market leaders, and to develop scenarios of application use.
We also prepared screens design for the client and the driver, developed native apps for iOS and Android, created an API and a backend. In the process of development, we managed to create a complete set of flexible services for launching the new system on the market. This will allow the client to develop the business further and make the necessary alterations, optimizing, and scaling the system in the future.
Earlier we developed a service connecting cargo owners and cargo carriers in one system in order to complete mutually beneficial transactions on transportation of grains and oilseeds SmartSeeds.
Our company also dealt with crafting an online ticket sales service for Busfor. At the early stage, Stfalcon helped this company to enter the mobile market by creating apps for iOS and Android as fast as possible. As a result, the client got the system, which allows the users to purchase tickets for domestic and international travel online.
The other case to mention in the context of transport solutions is The Hump. The key purpose set for the service was to save time through handling all the baggage-related procedures, starting from its delivery to the airport and finishing with getting a boarding pass and baggage tag.
The Hump offers:
- Baggage transfer from the traveler’s home to the airport
- Baggage transfer from the airport to traveler’s home
- Baggage storage.
With the increase in expenses of transportation companies (on fuel, auto parts, etc.) transportation companies should apply new methods and strategies to improve their efficiency and mobility. For the same purpose, they should go with the tides of modern transport industry technology trends, look ahead, and be ready to invest in equipping their fleet with smart devices and deploying modern technologies that facilitate deliveries.
Stfalcon has been working with transportation companies for about ten years and we have developed numerous web applications for both cargo and passenger transportation businesses.
You can contact our experts at any time, discuss your project-to-be, and get a professional consultation.
Our team, in its turn, is ready to bring your idea to life and develop a software solution for the transportation industry you need. We know for sure how to make your product efficient and cost-effective.
To choose the right priorities for the successful development in the transportation segment in 2021, download Stfalcon’s latest whitepaper “Transport Innovations: What Your Business Really Needs”.