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The Evolution of Heavy Cargo Transportation in the Future

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The Evolution of Heavy Cargo Transportation in the Future

The future of transportation is revolutionizing the freight and trucking industry. It will change the speed at which we transport goods. The future of freight and cargo will also impact workers, safety, and costs. This article will explore the future of transportation and global transportation. 

Future of Transportation

In the future transportation hopes to tackle several issues. These include greenhouse gas emissions, preventable fatalities, road congestion, security, poverty, and speed.

Engineers will emphasize cleaner solutions that limit carbon emissions and gasoline, instead of utilizing renewable energy alternatives. The new technology will hopefully make traveling safer for drivers. The advances in transportation and technology should also help with road congestion by looking for alternatives to traditional roads. There are some security risks to consider. Technology such as flying drones will have to be secured from hackers. The security risks are high. Future transportation must be eco-friendly and affordable. Regardless of your profession or salary, people will need to have a safe and efficient way to commute to work. Lastly, future transportation hopes to make commuting easier through faster travel times through higher speeds. 

There are several new innovations in transportation. These methods of transportation should improve our lives. The future of transportation should reduce stress levels, anxiety, costs, and death. The engineering of some of these transportation innovations has already started.

Maglev trains

Maglev trains use magnetic levitation and can travel at high-speeds. They use extremely powerful electromagnets that will also help with creating less noise and vibrations than traditional trains. Maglev trains are less likely to run into mechanical and weather issues because of the dip in friction and vibration. Maglev trains are not powered by fossil fuels and are therefore safer for the environment. These trains are powered by a magnetic field that is created by combining electrified coils in the guideway walls and the track, which causes the train to push forward.

Flying taxis

Flying taxis are already being prototyped by several companies. These taxis would transport passengers above cities in small planes. The idea is that this method of transportation would provide safe, reasonably priced rides. The biggest setback to flying taxis is the costs and regulations. Building a safe, durable aircraft is not reasonable due to the changes in market trends. Flying taxis also have a long regulatory process with the Federal Aviation Authority. 

Driverless cars

Although many customers are hesitant when it comes to driverless cars, this mode of transportation seems inevitable. Many concerns arise from safety and regulation questions. Distracted drivers are one of the leading causes of death on the roads. The future of driverless trucks is the hope of eliminating this risk entirely by using robots to operate the vehicles rather than humans. Driverless cars are being designed to take less risks and reduce speeding incidents. Some drawbacks include cost, privacy concerns, ethical questions, and legal ramifications.

Delivery drones

Even though drone technology is already here, it still has a long way to go in terms of regulations. Because of this, it is affecting how fast delivery drones are being released for full-scale commercial delivery. The first UPS drone delivered prescription medications to homes shortly after receiving certifications from the Federal Aviation Authority.  However, because delivery drones pose a risk to property and life, they will need to prove long-term reliability before they become “type certified” by the FAA and similar international regulators.

Underground roads

Underground roads are a futuristic idea that would transform roads and solve city infrastructure issues. Driving cars underground would make them more weatherproof, alleviate traffic congestion, and speed up transportation in the future. The plan is to lower cars underground using an elevator and transport them at high speeds to various destinations. Underground roads would run on a metal trolley like system. 


A Hyperloop is another future transportation concept. This is a transportation tube that would run groups of passengers or freight through a pressurized track. The Hyperloop would run at a speed of at least 600 miles per hour or faster. There are multiple companies working on making the Hyperloop a reality. 

Global Transportation

Global transportation is ever changing. As a result of the pandemic, there are supply chain issues and economic recovery. The global supply chain is now prone to major innovation. There are several trends that are likely to affect shipping in 2024.


Artificial intelligence (AI) has finally impacted the shipping industry. As artificial intelligence evolves in the shipping industry, developments in real-time shipment tracking and supply chain visibility will only improve. Digitalization is also making a move to paperless shipping.  


Greener business practices have also been discussed in the shipping industry. There are some regulations that have been implemented by global shipping regulators. For example, a rule requiring cleaner fuel and retrofitted emissions scrubbers installed on older vessels is now in place. Although sustainability is advancing, it will be a while before logistics and shipping are completely green.

Last-mile delivery

Last-mile delivery has rapidly changed and has been taken over by major US retailers. Over the past several years Walmart, Target, and Home Depot have expanded their last-mile delivery options. Last-mile delivery is a challenge in logistics, especially after some of the supply chain issuers of 2021 and 2022. 


Cybersecurity is becoming crucial as shipping and logistics are digitizing. By 2024, the shipping industry and any related partners will invest heavily in cybersecurity. Shipping has more sensitive data moved into the cloud and cyber risks increased exponentially after Covid.

Supply chain resilience 

The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. Because of this, companies are having to rethink their supply chain strategies. They must enhance their resilience and implement risk management; for example, diversifying suppliers, changing how goods are sourced, and for some companies just having a plan. Analytics is also playing a big role in shipping. It will help with identifying potential risks and responses.

Finally, new technology can be thrilling. Like with anything new, there are always risks, uncertainties, and concerns to consider. However, there are also many benefits to keep in mind. These new technologies promote improved safety on land, in the air, and in water. These transportation options are more eco-friendly than traditional transportation.


trailer truck freight

U.S. Truck Trailer Price Accelerates, Soaring 17% to $8,791 per Unit

U.S. Truck Trailer Import Price August 2022

In August 2022, the average truck trailer price amounted to $8,791 (CIF, US) per unit, with an increase of 17% against the previous month. In general, import price indicated a resilient increase from January 2022 to August 2022: its price increased at an average monthly rate of +8.1% over the last seven-month period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on August 2022 figures, truck trailer import price decreased by -11.3% against June 2022 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in June 2022 an increase of 41% month-to-month. As a result, import price attained the peak level of $9.9M per thousand units; afterwards, it flattened through to August 2022. Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin: the country with the highest price was Canada ($24,715 per unit), while the price for China ($694 per unit) was amongst the lowest. From January 2022 to August 2022, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by China (+16.0%), while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced mixed trend patterns.

U.S. Truck Trailer Imports

In August 2022, truck trailer imports into the United States contracted slightly to 44K units, flattening at July 2022 figures. Overall, imports continue to indicate a mild shrinkage. The growth pace was the most rapid in July 2022 with an increase of 30% month-to-month. Imports peaked at 62K units in February 2022; however, from March 2022 to August 2022, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure. In value terms, truck trailer imports soared to $387M (IndexBox estimates) in August 2022. The total import value increased at an average monthly rate of +6.5% over the period from January 2022 to August 2022; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain months. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in March 2022 when imports increased by 26% m-o-m. Imports peaked in August 2022.

U.S. Truck Trailer Imports by Country

In August 2022, China (28K units) constituted the largest truck trailer supplier to the United States, with a 64% share of total imports. Moreover, truck trailer imports from China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, Mexico (14K units), twofold. From January 2022 to August 2022, the average monthly rate of growth in terms of volume from China amounted to -3.9%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average monthly rates of imports growth: Mexico (+5.6% per month) and Canada (+0.3% per month). In value terms, Mexico ($333M) constituted the largest supplier of truck trailer to the United States, comprising 86% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was taken by Canada ($27M), with a 7.1% share of total imports. From January 2022 to August 2022, the average monthly rate of growth in terms of value from Mexico totaled +7.1%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average monthly rates of imports growth: Canada (-1.5% per month) and China (+11.5% per month)





When we think of the “future” in terms of the global supply chain, advanced technology and new forms of disruption are usually among the things international shippers are most concerned about. With 2021 at its end, the “future” is right around the corner. Meaning, what supply chain players do now (and what has been done thus far) will inevitably impact 2022 and beyond, and the more one understands this market’s evolving patterns, the more successful they will be in managing what is to come. 

Throughout the past year, the air freight market has seen various shifts, particularly with global capacity constraints, remnants from pandemic-driven disruptions, and an overall increase in demand. To fully understand the future of air freight, we must look at the big picture. To do this, BDP International’s VP of Global Airfreight, Patrick Olyhoeck, shares what global shippers can do to navigate 2022. 

The first shift is perspective. 

“Industry players can be more proactive by learning to fully understand industry challenges from a customer’s perspective to help them collaboratively overcome challenges,” Olyhoeck says. “The industry is impacted by factors including COVID-19 recoveries… and fundamentally, proactivity can only come from understanding key market challenges, thinking forward and engaging across stakeholders to find future solutions.”

He shares the following shifts are among the most significant currently being felt across the market:

-Impacts on capacity due to lower passenger numbers

-Impacts from the re-balancing of trade relations

-Impacts from the knock-on effect of capacity needs from ocean to air 

-National level challenges including HGV drivers in the UK impacting final the distribution of air cargo

Despite these shifts, in addition to the ones not yet seen or felt by the market, it is quite clear that some challenges are here to stay–pandemic or no pandemic.

“The basics of the market did not change,” Olyhoeck says. “Compare it with a soccer game, two decades ago. The speed of today’s game is enormous with real athletes on the pitch but still, you need to score to win the game–this is equal to our industry. Although regulations and customer needs are changing, we still move air cargo from A to B. The nature of air cargo remains focused on speed and safety to justify the choice.”

In addition to the evergreen nature of regulations and customer needs, Olyhoeck stated that global capacity constraints are expected to be felt for at least another season, and the key to managing this can be found in verticalization strategies. Limiting transport methods not only hurts your business but can be felt by your customer base as well. Maintaining reliable, transparent customer relationships is more critical now than ever before to remain competitive.

“Verticalization is the way to move forward where expertise and experience meet,” Olyhoeck says. “Digitalization will play a significant role. It is necessary to control your capacity to meet your customer expectations throughout the supply chain and therefore not limited to the airport-to-airport move only. From a company view, we need to stay resilient, embrace technology and keep pace with innovations in close relations with our customers.”

Streamlining information with the help of technology is a considerable factor that separates the good from the great. We live in a world where having the latest technology no longer cuts it. A shipper’s competitive advantage is not found in the kind of technology used for customer needs but more of what data is provided through technology to better understand, predict and manage customer needs. 

“We need not only to embrace technology but also accelerate the exchange of data as the impact is significant,” Olyhoeck adds. “Currently, too many stakeholders operate different systems with diverse needs. The use of digital pricing and booking platforms will help to increase efficiency and improve turnaround time, and it does get the attention from the shipper playing field to serve them with their best interest in mind.”

Collaboration is key and gathering the right data will further streamline processes to success. BDP manages its customer needs through the utilization of technology platforms that provide relevant, timely, and critical information. Combining the best of both technical capabilities and data, customers can rely on this approach to share the information needed to overcome market shifts. 

“BDP technology forms a fundamental part of how we manage complex, high care, dynamic supply-chains through both normal and abnormal market conditions,” Olyhoeck says. “We invest in platforms to provide insight into data integration and aggregation, platforms which support communication and exception management, and platforms that automate and simplify processes to help manage complexity and streamline our communications with customers. Our customers and partners are kept informed every step of the way in critical journeys.”

Even more significant is the need for more attention to budgeting and forecasting in the air cargo sector. According to Statista, 2021 will end with an expected 63.1 million tons of freight carried globally.

“Unfortunately, forecasting is underexposed,” Olyhoeck shares. “As in various industries, the budget and forecast for shipping pure air cargo is zero, but shippers still end up shipping millions of kilograms by air each year.” 

So, is there such a thing as a formula shippers can rely on for the future of the industry? Simply put, yes. But without key components of communication, technology and data, customer relationships and operations are projected for complications. 

“Energized teams supported by the latest technologies plugged in and managing global networks is not new to the industry,” Olyhoeck notes. “The chaos brought on from the pandemic, within the ocean markets impacting air, shows that having teams that can react, adapt, collaborate and solve using insight and intellect many times outstrips the technical component of competition.”

Simply put, modern market relationships and collaborations cannot be compromised. As Bob Hooey once said, “If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.”


Patrick Olyhoeck has more than 20 years of experience in the logistics sector. Having joined BDP in 2009, he filled local and regional positions before recently being promoted to vice president, Global Airfreight. In this role, he is responsible for one of the strategic key contacts for the international airline industry and the evolvement of offering premium global supply chain transportation service to a wide range of valued customers through the designed Global Consolidation Model. He can be reached at


Logistics Providers Have a Higher Calling than Freight’s ‘Middleman’

Since the domestic onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, logistics providers and freight brokers have had to deal with two extremes in the market — and in short succession.

In the initial economic fallout in the first few months of the pandemic, freight volumes sank, and so did per-mile rates. There simply weren’t enough loads to go around for all of us who make a living moving freight, and the slowdown happened so fast, we were all left searching for answers.

At least I know here at Circle Logistics, we weren’t immune to that sudden freight vacuum.

But then as the recovery gained steam, freight volumes hit a warp speed, seemingly making up for lost time last spring and due to consumers spending money on hard goods rather than services or entertainment.

Behind that pendulum swing, logistics providers this year have faced a tall task in keeping up with the demands of their shippers. There’s been a dearth of transportation capacity, and 3PLs have often had to book loads at a loss to make sure we take care of our shippers.

Between freight volumes slamming the brakes in spring of 2020 and then mashing the throttle this year, I’m sure we as an industry will glean many lessons from the trials we’ve weathered.

But there’s a fundamental lesson staring us in the face right now: We have to pivot our industry away from transactional deals and work to create real, trusted relationships with each other.

This involves all of us — shippers, brokers, and carriers. We’re at a precipice in the logistics industry, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to heed the requirements of this new world. That starts with ditching the old ways and forging a path in which mutually beneficial relationships rule, and in which we utilize those relationships to help manage the current crisis and any future events that occur.

For freight brokers and 3PLs, first and foremost, this starts with shedding the label of a freight  industry “middleman.” That might have been true of yesteryear’s freight broker. You know the type — the guy at a desk working a big landline phone with four or five different lines connected into it. But it absolutely cannot be true of a modern logistics provider.

We need to be viewed as a valued, trusted source of market information and trucking capacity by our shipper customers. And we must be viewed as a business partner of our carriers — a sales team working to find loads that fit their lanes and rates, a dispatcher trying to get them backhauls, and someone who they’d turn to for a load over taking a chance on a random broker from a loadboard, even if it pays a little better.

By building these relationships on both sides, you can ward off the situation where shippers try to pit 3PLs and brokers against each other in negotiations. Or the situation where you try to squeeze a carrier for a few pennies a mile on a one-and-done load and then find you need their service a few weeks or months later for a different load.

Will every freight transaction be this way? Of course not. Logistics providers still have to turn to loadboards to find carriers, and carriers will still have to utilize some one-time deals to reposition or simply keep the wheels turning.

Also, shippers’ procurement managers will still mostly be working to find transportation services at the best cost for their company. They still have a boss to answer to, too.

But what I hope has become a stark realization during these turbulent times is that we’re all in this business together, for better or worse. Shippers need their freight hauled. Carriers need loads to move to keep their operations afloat and their bills paid. And freight brokers and 3PLs, more than ever, are the conduit to bridge those two parties’ needs.

In an 18-month span which has seen both ends of the spectrum — carriers unable find loads at sustainable rates and shippers unable to find capacity — the new calling for freight brokers has been laid bare: We must work to build the relationships that keep goods moving and keep the supply chain chugging. Anything less is a step in the wrong direction.

Trucking Training & Safety Evaluated Following Multi-Fatality Crash

A devastating crash involving 28 cars and a long-haul truck driver has left the trucking industry re-evaluating safety protocol involving trucker training and vehicle inspections.

The accident – which occurred in April in Lakewood, Colorado, turned deadly when a driver for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC of Houston stated to police the breaks of the truck failed on a downhill grade. The driver – who has a clean driving record, was charged with three dozen felony counts and could face prison time.1 According to records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 30 violations were reported out of 19 inspections spanning two years – some of which were directly related to brakes.2

“Exactly what happened and how remains a matter for the courts to determine,” said John Kearney, CEO of Advanced Training Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators for truck driver training. “This tragic incident makes clear the importance of stringent enforcement of truck safety regulations and the best possible training for operators.”

“Trucking is thus a linchpin of the economy,” Kearney said. “It is also an industry under intense pressure to manage explosive growth within tight financial margins.”

With trucking moving a reported 70 percent of total freight in the U.S. by American trucking associations, 3 trucking companies are undoubtedly feeling the pressure to provide training while meeting market demands. Additionally, it’s reported the industry is in need of 50,000 more full-time drivers.4 The challenge is recruiting, training, and deploying drivers quickly and safely.

The real question asks if simulator training is the next best step in addressing the challenges and extreme pressures present within the industry. Simulator training provides room for learning without incurring damages and risking lives on the road.

“It’s a key component of training, but not the only component,”  Kearney said. “Classroom instruction still is essential, along with behind-the-wheel training with an experienced operator in a real truck. This is exactly the mix of mandatory training modalities used by the airline industry, which also should be mandatory in the trucking industry. As delivery schedules shorten, highway congestion and the demand for highly skilled truck operators will only increase. It’s to everyone’s benefit to make sure those drivers have had the best training possible.”

This report was provided by Advanced Training Systems LLC and includes the following references:

1 Helsel, Phil, “Truck driver in fiery Colorado crash charged with 40 counts, may face decades in prison,” NBC, May 3, 2019.

2 Miller, Blair, “Company that I-70 crash driver works for has past federal violations for brakes, English proficiency,” The Denver Channel, April 29, 2019.

3 “Reports, Trends & Statistics,” American Trucking Associations, 2019.

4 “Pressure’s on the Trucking Sector,” Insurance Journal, November 15, 2018.