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Trucking Economist Talks About The Trucking Industry

Trucking Economist Talks About The Trucking Industry

John Larkin is a respected man in the trucking industry and is the Managing Director of the Truckload Carriers Association and has a unique vantage point over the whole industry. Thus, when he talks people listen. In his keynote address in the association’s event in Las Vegas, John Larkin gave his wisdom about where the industry was headed. The first point he made was that stability was not guaranteed. While the previous year had been relatively peaceful, Larkin says that the future might be different. The upward trend we saw last year is already going down.


Another thing he focused on was automation. Automation is increasing everywhere, across all industries. Automation is also now playing a much bigger role in the trucking industry as more and more payload is being brought to the trucks through robots.

The only way to combat this, according to Larkin, is by embracing the change and making trucking more compatible with such automation efforts. One thing which he did not mention was that automation might also completely change the trucking industry; automated driving and fleet management looks to be a sure thing in a decade or two.

While this is bad news for truckers, it is good news for other stakeholders. Trucks would be able to deliver carriage and drive 24/7 since they will be driving themselves. Truckers aren’t the only people feeling the pinch of automation; automation is expected to decrease jobs across the board in manufacturing. This might also be why we are seeing such a boom in the service industry; it is one of the few industries which are not threatened by automation as of yet.

Better Fleet Management

Larkin also highlighted that while brick and mortar stores are reporting a continuing downward trend, e-commerce continues to rise. The trucking industry can play an even bigger role in the e-commerce industry. One issue is that large enough retailers find it better to build and maintain their own fleet. This can be combated too.

One suggestion brought by many different industry experts is that truckers need to create a marketplace. No small trucking company can get the contract of large companies like Amazon. If, instead, a layer service was developed which made it automatic for work to be assigned to different trucks, then big orders could be distributed between multiple small companies without hassle. This will result in an increase in work for small time trucking companies. – See more at:

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