Developments That Are Disturbing The Balance Of The Trucking Industry
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Trucks or road transport makes up the largest portion of the global transport and logistics market. Almost 80% of all freight in the US is moved through trucks with annual revenues in 2016 reported at $726 billion. The prospects of road transport are enormous. Recently, the year on year freight hauled by trucks rose by 9.9% to the highest level since December 2013. However, latest developments throughout the industry have left key players in splits.
The trucking industry has always been vital to the economy and as such is hard to ignore. Recent news stories from different segments are arousing mixed feelings for stakeholders. Let’s take a look at some of the stories in question.
Tesla’s New Semi-Truck
It is said that if the life span of the earth is soiled down to 24 hours, humans have only been here for 1 minute; but they’ve destroyed 50% of all natural ecosystems. Today, industries are realizing the severity of the damage that has been done and are therefore moving towards more energy-efficient and environment-friendly solutions like hybrid and electric engines.
Tesla, one of the pioneers of the electric vehicles recently introduced their Class 8 semis that are completely electric with a 500 mile range and state of the art features. Major companies like JB Hunt and Walmart have already placed orders for the trucks; however, the industry is divided on how well they will be accepted by the trucking industry.
There are a number of factors to consider before opting for a complete overhaul of one’s trucking fleet to electric vehicles. The first major obstacle is the absence of regular charging stations along highways. Furthermore, truckers and other start-ups have already introduced hydrogen cells, hybrid engines etc., for trucks. So whether or not the community would be willing to make a complete shift still remains to be seen.
The Battle Between Repealing or Maintaining Obama’s Emission Regulations
The Obama administration after lengthy negotiations had reached consensus with the truckers association to curb emissions and encourage them to opt for greener options. The new government however wants to repeal the laws that govern the use of gliders, i.e. trucks built with new materials that cost much less than a traditional truck and as a result are lower on emissions.
This announcement has set off a mixed battle between concerned parties. With increasing stress on environment protection, all companies have invested heavily in R&D to find cleaner options. If the plan to ease these regulations is implemented, most of their investments would be for nothing and would cause substantial losses to the respective companies.
The Environment Protection Agency has still to make a final ruling on the matter.
With the industry growing but developments like the Tesla truck and developments like the plan to repeal emission regulations, it remains a see saw journey that will have lasting impacts on the market irrespective of the decision in which it moves. Trucks and road transport is an important element of the economy and there is need for consistent practices and rules to ensure its growth.
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