GlobeCon Freight Blog

The truck runs on the highway. 3d render and illustration

Trucking Outlook 2019/2020 — Is the Slowdown Here to Stay?

Categories: Trucking.

Early this year, analysts predicted a slowdown in the $800 billion trucking industry. Unfortunately, things have turned out even worse than originally predicted — 2019 has found the U.S. in the midst of a freight recession, with significant difficulties in the trucking industry.

Is there hope for recovery? In this blog post, we’ll explore the future of trucking.

What’s happening in the trucking industry?

The trucking industry is notoriously cyclical, fluctuating along with demand for shipping at particular times of year, and contingent upon the overall economic climate. Bad weather and tariff threats have both contributed to the industry’s recent nosedive.

Severe weather

Severe weather delays cost the freight industry an estimated $3.5 billion annually, and the weather has been particularly extreme this year.

A polar vortex slammed the Midwest and Northeast in January, a record-breaking cluster of tornadoes devastated much of the same area in May, and the Mississippi Delta is still struggling to recover from massive flooding that began in February.

These and other severe weather events have had a devastating effect on infrastructure and resulted in delayed and canceled shipments.


The industry was on unstable ground, particularly in the first half of the year, in part due to tariffs on Chinese goods (and the potential for additional, even harsher tariffs). A number of trucking companies have filed for bankruptcy this year, and many others have fallen short of revenue and profit expectations. Some cite the tariffs as a contributing factor.

What does the future hold?

Despite significant changes this year, experts say the industry may stabilize by 2020. So what are the factors that will drive growth in the future?

Electric vehicles

As consumers increasingly demand sustainability, the shipping industry is looking for more sustainable transport methods, and truck makers are exploring options for clean-air vehicles.

Tesla is working on an electric semi-truck, and big corporations like Walmart and UPS have already placed pre-orders. Tesla proposes that the new semis will save owners money after two years of ownership because they require far less fuel and maintenance than diesel trucks.

Driverless technology

Truck makers are also developing automated driving technology, despite strict regulations. McKinsey & Company suggests that a fully automated trucking industry would reduce operating costs by about 45%.

The currently available technology has its limits, so drivers will still need to perform certain tasks and work in tandem with the automated systems.

Predictive analytics

Trucking companies are using big data and predictive analytics to streamline their operations and increase safety and productivity. Here are just a few of the things trucking companies can track with predictive analytics:

  • Truck health reports
  • Weather events and road closures (and subsequent delays)
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Real-time location updates
  • Safe driving behaviors

Using computer-camera devices, service logs, remote diagnostics systems, and more, companies can collect data, view real-time insights, and track metrics over time.


Despite a rough start in 2019, the future of trucking is bright — and relies heavily on technology. As the industry continues to change, trucking companies will need to change, too. Teaming up with an experienced logistics partner can help.

GlobeCon is a software-enabled transportation logistics partner, with over 25 years of experience providing drayage, warehousing, transloading, retail distribution, fulfillment, freight forwarding, and nationwide trucking support services.

Want to know more about our services? Contact us.

Read More >
Truck Delivery Express

Creating Supply Chain Visibility Where it Matters Most

Categories: BCO/Shipper.

In the modern global supply chain, complete end-to-end visibility is often regarded as the ultimate goal. But what constitutes end-to-end visibility? As tracking technology becomes more advanced, companies feel the pressure to keep everyone informed throughout the entire supply chain.

Read More >
Group of boxes and Automation robot arm machine in storehouse.

How Will Machine Learning Impact the Supply Chain?

Categories: Warehouse.

Widespread adoption of machine learning in the supply chain represents a quantum leap for optimization and efficiency analysis efforts. Powerful software can do the work of dozens of human analysts in a fraction of the time, freeing up your experts to focus on teasing out trends and often finding solutions for inefficiencies we didn’t know existed.

Read More >
Drayage being shown in shipping ports

New Drayage and Portside Tech Wrap-up 2019

Categories: Port Drayage.

Drayage has long been one of the least understood and most critical processes in the supply chain. Without effective drayage systems, cargo doesn’t get unloaded from container ships and international trucks in a timely manner, creating backups that slow operations at warehouses, retailers, ecommerce hubs, and more.

Read More >
Screen with security graphics showing cybersecurity

Supply Chain Cybersecurity Should Be On Your Radar

Categories: Trucking.

While other industries were shifting to digital solutions, many companies on the supply chain operated using the old methods –¬†paper and pen, in many cases. Now that tech innovation is starting has penetrated into warehousing and logistics in a big way, there’s a lot of cybersecurity catch-up to be done.

Read More >