These are turbulent times. Upheaval, change, and unprecedented circumstances have been seen all over the world. Whatever your field, you are bound to have noticed major shifts in the way that your industry operates.
This is certainly true for the world of transportation.
In this article, we explore five key changes that the transportation industry has experienced – or expects to experience – in recent and coming years. Importantly, we also explore how they might affect you and your business, or at the very least, the way you travel and commute.
By being aware of these five key changes, you can take steps to prepare. That might mean adjusting your budget, changing the way you drive, making alterations to travel and commuting, or exploring ‘greener’ and more environmentally friendly options.
The circumstances may not be within your control – but the way you react to them is. Browse these five key changes, be prepared to adapt, and you will not only survive the changes, but learn to thrive in them too.
KEY CHANGE 1: Environmentally Conscious Policy & Incentives
The environment is one of the hottest contemporary topics across a range of industries. More businesses than ever before are aiming to address what experts are calling a ‘climate crisis’. This is being seen not just in business, but also across national and international policymaking.
Examples include things such as the introduction of the popular Walk to Work, or Cycle to Work schemes, which is designed to reduce the congestion and pollution on major roads, as well as incentivise workers to improve their health.
More national or policy-wide examples include tax relief and incentives for businesses and individuals to only purchase environmentally-friendly cars – such as electric or hybrid vehicles that can then be written off as a legitimate expense.
Other widespread transport policies with an eco-slant include the construction of cycle tracks and bike routes, as well as congestion charges and tariffs designed to reduce the use of non-essential transport – especially in areas with high levels of pollution.
It is expected that there will be even more ‘aggressive’ or proactive environmental policies affecting transport in the future.
For all these reasons then, and more, if you are considering purchasing a car for your business, environmentally friendly options have the best chance of suiting your budget and standing the test of time.
KEY CHANGE 2: Automation
A key change expected to substantially affect the transport industry in the near future is automation. Whether through the use of robots and AI in manufacturing, engineering, and administration, or even the use of self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles, transport is getting smarter.
Digital elements have been incorporated into almost every new type of transport, and are being relied upon for an increasing number of uses and responsibilities.
Many of us – and many businesses – are already fully familiar and reliant on GPS tracking, for example, but in the future, this may become more futuristic and less populated by physical people. Managing a fleet of drones for delivery, or self-driving cars, may reduce an entire working team to just a single managerial individual, for example.
It may be years away, but it is always worth exploring the small ways that automation and artificial intelligence could help you, your mode of transport, or your transport business to thrive.
It might be as simple as using software to log your business miles when you travel for work, right through to exploring entirely automated delivery options, and more.
KEY CHANGE 3: Borders & Tariffs
One of the most controversial recent changes to the transport industry has been the upheaval surrounding Brexit – i.e. the UK’s departure from the European Union. This could have a major impact on British imports and exports, and many are finding the changes difficult to fully understand.
Some key areas that will be affected are an increased level of bureaucracy and ‘red tape’, potential shortages and delays with goods, higher prices due to increased levels of difficulty in supply, and contentious border issues – such as with Northern Ireland (which remains in the EU single market for goods).
Overall, it is expected that it will not just be Brexit that will affect transport in the coming years, but that there may be several new border issues and tariffs imposed worldwide.
The global marketplace is more volatile and competitive than ever, and the coming dramatic changes in the transport industry are expected to reflect this.
KEY CHANGE 4: Faster Changes To The Law
Until recently, a change to the law was often slow to be reviewed and even slower to come into effect. But that is starting to change.
Experts in the transport industry agree that there may be widespread reviews of certain policies, approaches, and laws in the coming years – and that they are expected to come into effect faster than ever before.
Laws can change the way we drive – from the rules on hands-free phone use in cars, rises in car tax dictated by how much CO2 the vehicle uses (coming into effect in 2021), and the new rules that will see motorists face a fine and penalty points if caught filming videos, taking photographs, or holding their device while driving.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of driving, transport, and (especially) their intersection with technology, it is expected that laws and policy will be reviewed and rolled out faster than ever before.
Stay up to date to avoid being caught out by a rule that you may not even have known existed!
KEY CHANGE 5: Remote Working
One of the most major changes experienced by the transport industry is the rise in remote working.
But remote working is no longer just a response to national lockdowns or the reduction of travel during a global pandemic. It is also a widespread change in the way that we work and how businesses are choosing to operate.
Remote working can reduce the amount of congestion and pollution on national roads. It can save time and money in commuting and connect workforces from all over the world – regardless of their physical location. It is a complex issue with pros and cons, but will inevitably become a major talking point in the contemporary transportation industry.
No matter your background, you don’t have to be an expert on these topics, but by possessing a fair level of awareness around these key issues affecting the transport industry, you will be better prepared for the future!