John Hitch | FleetOwner
Ata Tmc 2022

Key takeaways on the trucking industry in 2022

April 5, 2022
From ongoing supply chain problems to new developments in trucking technology, ATA's annual TMC event provided real-world perspective on what’s really happening in the industry.

Every time I attend an American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting and Exposition, I leave with a better sense of what’s going on in the trucking industry. This year’s meeting was no different, and I left with several key takeaways.

Ongoing supply chain issues

I had hoped to hear that the end was in sight for delays in the delivery of new trucks and for the replacement parts shortage. Unfortunately, that was not the case. In fact, there does not seem to be consensus on when we will be through this latest challenge. Regarding the ultimate end to the supply chain issues, some OEMs indicated it would be the end of 2022. Others said the end of 2023. So, the jury is still out. I believe we are going to have new equipment delivery issues into 2024. 

One no-show: OEMs’ price books

As of the TMC meeting, OEMs had not published their 2023 price books. Budgeting remains an issue for fleets, and the unknown cost structure for 2023 makes it challenging to determine assets that need replacement and those to keep. Prices will be higher, but just how high remains to be seen. Supply chain issues are, in part, to blame. However, since OEMs don't know how much more basic materials will cost them, they are delaying new equipment pricing.

See also: The world is changing fast, and trucking must, too: DTNA CEO

Allocations are a real possibility

Given materials shortages—especially the ongoing lack of microchips—vehicle production will be down again. That means OEMs will put dealers and fleets on allocation. Fleets should be prepared to extend the life of current assets once again, as it is highly unlikely they will get all the trucks they would like to order.

Technology surrounds us

There was much talk about new technology, including tire monitoring, in-cab tech, maintenance software, and more. Manufacturers’ booths were filled with the latest and the greatest innovation designed to make trucking safer and more efficient. Changes are happening at a dizzying pace in trucking, so we all need to stay updated on technologies that show the most promise.

 See also: Are cybercriminals waiting for an opportune time to attack U.S. trucks?

New entrants abound

There are many new faces in trucking—primarily in the technology space. These “new kids” could potentially pass up the “old-school” manufacturers who have been the mainstay for decades. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will we see mergers of the old and new to leverage technology and industry know-how? Stay tuned.

I am glad I attended TMC this year. Not only did I learn a lot in the formal meetings and on the show floor, but I also got to talk face to face with fleets and suppliers to gain the real-world perspective on what’s really happening in the industry.

Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spend.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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