The Transport Dive Outlook on 2021

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Note from the editor

The trucking industry's momentum from the latter half of 2020 is carrying over to 2021.

Lockdowns and consumers staying home put e-commerce into overdrive, a trend that's continuing this year. A gradual revival of industrial activity will boost dry van and flatbed markets. Pent-up capital could make for a busy M&A year. 

And a new administration in the White House means a reset on the transport policy landscape and regulatory priorities. 

What does the new Transportation Department hold in store for trucking? Is this the year electric trucks proliferate?

The stories below offer a look ahead at the trucking industry in 2021 and beyond.

Shefali Kapadia Lead Editor

Trucking operational costs in 6 charts

Experts anticipate continued upticks in driver wages and insurance premiums, but fuel costs may remain low.

• Published Jan. 4, 2021

8 transport-focused startups to watch in 2021

Startups are entering the market and raising millions to solve common pain points in trucking, from load matching to parking availability.

• Published Jan. 3, 2021

The DOT's to-do list: What trucking can expect from Washington in 2021

Policies rescinded during the Trump administration may resurface with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

• Published Jan. 7, 2021

Why experts are bullish on transport M&A in 2021

"Pent-up" demand to buy is already showing its face this year, with James Richardson & Sons and Wescan Capital acquiring 100% of the shares of Bison Transport.

• Published Jan. 13, 2021

2021: When electric trucks trickle in

Political winds and consumer tastes favor a change in how trucks are fueled. The question is whether OEMs, fleets and infrastructure are ready for the change.

• Published Feb. 3, 2021

FTR: Trucking economy steers toward normalcy in 2021

Consumer buying and industrial production's rebound will bode well for trucking, analysts predicted. The wild card is coronavirus cases.

• Published Jan. 21, 2021

What's behind record-breaking Class 8 orders?

Fleets anticipated a strong economy in 2021 and started preparing before the new year.

• Published Jan. 19, 2021

The Transport Dive Outlook on 2021

Which trucking-related startups should firms keep an eye on? What's in store for M&A? What trends should fleets be tracking this year? Experts weigh in on what 2021 holds for the transport industry.

included in this trendline
  • A look at the operational costs of trucking, and how they’ll shift in 2021
  • How expectations of a strong economy are driving record-breaking Class-8 orders
  • What trucking can expect from Washington this year
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.