As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to 2019 and what the new year holds for the fleet industry.
While some topics from 2018 will be prevalent again in the coming year – like the Electronic Logging Device mandate and driver shortages – advances in technology could bring new capabilities for fleets over the next 12 months.
Take a look below at what fleet operations may see in 2019.
ELD Mandate Enters Final Phase
On Dec. 16, 2019, the ELD mandate goes into full effect. This means as of that date, all qualifying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are required to use electronic logging devices. The mandate was soft-launched in 2015. At that time, the rule was established and fleets were given the option of using ELDs. In 2017, the mandate entered phase 2 of its rollout, when vehicles were required to use ELDs or AOBRDs that were installed prior to Dec. 18, 2017. Phase 3, which begins in 2019, is the final stage, mandating that all qualifying CMVs use ELDs.
Strong Acquisition Year
Due to a strong U.S. economy, fleets are expected to grow their assets in 2019. According to Automotive-Fleet.com, the growth is expected to be on pace with 2018, which also saw fleets add vehicles. Operations in the energy and construction sectors are expected to add the most assets. Automotive-Fleet.com predicts most operations will opt for fuel-efficient vehicles when adding to their fleets.
Data Will Be Even More Important
Next year, data will continue to be important for fleet operations to track and analyze, and higher e-commerce demands will add new emphasis on shipping information. According to TruckingInfo.com, transportation investment research analyst John Larkin told attendees at the McLeod Software Users Conference that as more consumers want to track their shipments, the e-commerce data will need to increase to enable more tracking options. Larkin said the higher demand for scanning shipments throughout the shipping process to track statuses will “help us optimize routing, optimize pickup and delivery timing, and optimize which distribution center door we request,” according to TruckingInfo.com.
Larkin also provided comments on data analytics and AI, as reported by TruckingInfo.com.
“We think data analytics and AI are finally coming into the industry to help predict near-term and even medium-term futures, so we can plan manpower requirements and capacity requirements and anticipate service failures that might be caused by weather, bridge out, other kinds of issues and take action that may be recommended by the system.”
Driver Shortages to Continue
As the U.S. economy and unemployment rates are expected to remain favorable in 2019, fleet operations could continue to experience driver shortages.
According to TruckingInfo.com, Larkin said in the current U.S. economy, drivers are opting for jobs that pay more and are closer to home. Larkin also mentioned the threat of autonomous vehicles and new regulations could prevent some from pursuing driver jobs.
To learn how RTA Fleet Management Software can help your operation in 2019 and beyond, contact us today to schedule a free demo.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com.