January 26, 2017

2017 Transportation Outlook

Gentry Smith – Transportation Insurance Specialist

We’ve all heard the same cheesy clichés and business mantras from companies over the years, and they often go in one ear and out the other; however there is something to be said for phrases like ‘adapt to change,’ ‘survival of the fittest,’ and ‘early adoption,’ – even in an industry as age-old and timeless as transportation and logistics. That said, 2017 already has a lot of change on the horizon for the transportation world, and companies across the entire trucking spectrum are going to have to adopt a more tech-focused mindset to keep up.

Probably the sexiest news in the circuit is that of Uber breaking into the 3PL arena. The popular taxi replacement app is looking to get a piece – or two or three – of the transportation pie, and that presence is a massive elephant in the room for trucking companies and freight brokerages, as Uber is essentially looking to automate both sides. Companies’ abilities (trucking entities and brokerages alike,) will have to implement faster-paced solutions and couple them with the human element of relationships and service to combat Uber’s attempts to disrupt the transportation front.

Some will seek help from big time enterprises, as they and others are developing stronger transportation management systems (TMS) that enhance transparency and visibility for companies’ operations. Bridget McCrea, Editor of Logistics Management Magazine, mentions software juggernaut Oracle as one of these enterprises looking to optimize supply chain management through their new TMS. In a recent article she states “this trend opened the doors for more shippers to use TMS as part of their overall enterprise solutions…as [they] sought out new ways to tender and execute freight loads in the most optimized, efficient manner possible.”[1]

While the likes of app-based entities and software management will play roles in the shifting transportation landscape this year, the private sector is not alone in spearheading such change. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated that all trucking companies implement the use of electronic logging devices by the end of 2017. Companies have had a year to game plan the implementation  of E-Logs which must be in effect by December of this year. Not only will the FMCSA mandate save the industry a truckload of money (sorry I couldn’t resist at least one bad pun), but it will help companies obtain better safety ratings as well. So naturally, I segue here and have to mention that better safety ratings will allow transportation insurance companies to acquire better rates and coverage throughout the course of the year.

With a booming 2016 behind us, and as we wrap up a record setting January, Reliance Partners has its sights on channeling the adaptation and change that is in store for the transportation industry. Our fast-paced corporate culture and growth parallels that of the companies for which we work to secure top tier rates and coverage. For any line of transportation insurance, we are happy and eager to help find a package tailored to the company’s needs. Do not hesitate to contact us for your transportation insurance needs, as we have agents licensed across the US.

Stay tuned for both trucking industry outlooks and Reliance Partners news throughout 2017!




Gentry Smith

Reliance Partners, Director of Sales

423-803-1463 (O)