Trucking Industry Outlook: What’s In Store For 2021?


Not too long ago, 2018 was heralded as an extremely successful year for the trucking industry, with the overall industry revenue up $96 billion. Increased customer demand, tremendous freight volumes, and advancements in logistics technology raised the bar on expectations. Unfortunately, 2019 couldn’t keep up. By the end of 2019, there was a 27% dip in freight rates with many companies suffering as a result.

Like 2018, 2020 was a year of overwhelming change, but this time more negatively. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic uncertainty had a tremendous impact on transportation, logistics, and supply chains. But as this year winds to a close, it’s time to look ahead at 2021 and how the trucking industry will fare in the new year.

What will the trucking industry look like in 2021?

Overall, experts expect a transition year from 2020’s lows and uncertainty. 2021 is expected to reset the transportation market and return stability to the industry as the world corrals COVID-19 and the economy rebounds. Though not certain, freight volumes and customer demand are both expected to increase. Here are some key things to expect from transportation and trucking in 2021:

  • A surge in spot rates
  • Increased demand for trucking as air shipping remains inconsistent
  • Increased freight volumes
  • A rise in transportation costs
  • Explosive growth in e-commerce deliveries
  • Uncertainty between the US and China
  • UPS and FedEx rate increases

How to prepare for 2021

Market conditions are currently still volatile, forcing businesses to adapt their operations accordingly. However, following 2020’s obstacles, many businesses are in a better place to weather any storm, be it another round of lockdowns or further economic turmoil.

For businesses looking to strategize even further, there are myriad ways to streamline supply chains and beef up your operations to withstand anything 2021 might throw at the industry. And whether you’re in need of supply chain assistance or logistics management, the experts here at PLS have you covered!

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