It’s been a wild ride in the transportation industry these last three to four years, as consumer demand, freight volumes, rates and supply chains have expanded and contracted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and various types of equipment and labor shortages. Trucker Tools recently polled and interviewed owner operators, carriers, freight brokers and technology companies to evaluate the current state of the freight industry. This blog summarizes those results and provides insight into how freight brokers like you can use real-time technology to your advantage to navigate market volatility and unpredictability in 2023 and beyond.
To gain deeper insight into the current state of the freight industry, Trucker Tools surveyed independent owner operators and motor carriers about their greatest challenges in trucking in 2022, their profit margins last year and their approaches to business in 2023. Those surveyed also were asked about how technology impacts their relationships with freight brokers and 3PLs. In addition to surveying truckers and fleets, Trucker Tools held in-depth discussions with industry brokerage and technology companies for their perspectives on trends in 2022 and what the industry at large might expect in 2023.
One of the most notable results from the trucking industry survey is that approximately 77 percent of the drivers and carriers surveyed report that they are less likely to work with a broker again if the broker requires that they use a difficult to use technology. As for Trucker Tools’ discussions with freight brokers and technology companies, these conversations indicate that most in the industry expect Q1 and at least parts of Q2 to see relatively low demand for truck capacity, with a rebound predicted for the latter half of 2023.
“We expect a soft start to 2023, but we expect that in late Q2 and early Q3 demand will return,” Kingsgate Logistics’ Executive Vice President Tom Curee said. “If we see the demand shift in the last half of the year, it will impact our shipper community as they work to source capacity in that environment.”
Based on these interviews and survey results, it’s clear that the use of real-time freight matching, booking and tracking technology can be the difference-maker for freight brokerage and logistics companies in 2023. Real-time software allows freight brokers and 3PLs to make better decisions faster and keeps operating costs in check when profit margins are diminished.
“You are going to see a lot of companies looking to consolidate their tech stack and streamline their systems to reduce costs and create operational efficiencies,” shared Banyan Technology’s Product and Partner Marketing Manager Matthew Shumaker. “Shippers and 3PLs alike will be looking for technology to find the best rates and options to make the right freight execution decision for every shipment. There were a lot of great options over the past few years, but a lot of those opportunities have been diminished as the supply chain has started to settle.”
For more insights from our interviews and survey, read our white paper, “State of the Freight Industry 2023: Leveraging Technology To Navigate Uncertainty.”