Road transportation: Its past and its future

Transporte por carretera pasado y futuro / Road transportation past and future / transport routier passé et avenir 01

Road transportation keeps on growing. Even if there are cleaner alternatives, such as fluvial or railway transportation, the road is still the favorite transport both for people and cargo.

Today we are going to make a retrospective on how the industry used to be, and use it to understand how it could be in the future.

Road transportation, some years ago

For more than 25 years, road transportation has been the preferred transport for moving commodities. It is essential for the companies that wish to move cargo from one end of Europe to the other. In 2007 for example, alternative means of transportation represented barely 12% of all traffic. Fifteen years later, this situation has not changed.

Transporte por carretera pasado y futuro / Road transportation past and future / transport routier passé et avenir 02
Even if a freight gets transported most of the way via another means, the last part of the trip will still be made on the road.
(Source: Markus Spiske 3905831/ pexels.com)

The economic crisis of 2008 was an inflection point for the industry. Monetary hardships combined with a reduction on the coal and steel industries. This turned into the perfect breeding ground for trucks to flourish. Despite governmental efforts to help fluvial and railway transportation, the wheel is still the queen of moving commodities.

Road transportation of the future

A lot of changes are already taking place in the industry. For example, future truckers are from a very different generation to their predecessors. We are already seeing how the profession is getting more female profiles than it used to.

The industry is also very open to technological changes. We can expect future means of transportation to be autonomous and more efficient, and, we hope, less polluting as well.

Transporte por carretera pasado y futuro / Road transportation past and future / transport routier passé et avenir 03
The Spanish truck driver striker of 2022 has made obvious how much the industry needs to change.
(Source: REUTERS/Vincent West)

Working conditions will need to become more flexible and  adapt in such a way that they allow for a better understanding between road hours and personal life. It will also need to adapt to the new  generation of truck drives, who expect a more comfortable and profitable job.

Finally, we can expect an increase in the skills of the professionals. New, more qualified workers will bring a wider arrange of positions in the industry.

Summary

In conclusion, the road transportation of the future will depend mostly on the evolution of the vehicles themselves, and the technology they use. This will be the basis of all changes that both the companies and the workers need.

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