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Transportation Industry Insights
By Anthony Sasso
• Jul 16, 2019
Head of US Equipment Finance

As on-demand delivery is reshaping consumer expectations and market conditions, it's no surprise that the dynamics of the transportation industry are in a period of profound change.

To explore the impact of these changes, TD Bank asked 100+ fleet professionals who attended the 2019 NAFA Institute & Expo in Louisville, KY about their thoughts on evolving technology and expectations for equipment financing. Here's what we found:

52% of fleet professionals believe that changing technology poses the biggest challenge in the coming year.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of technological advancements within the transportation industry.

Advancements like robotics and automation will continue to transform the transportation industry as it evolves to meet the ever-changing consumer demands. Looking ahead, we anticipate that transportation companies will invest heavily in innovation to help fleets optimize routes, better track inventory and produce more fuel-efficient (and driverless) vehicles.

The challenge for these companies is to understand how best to finance these investments and the impact it may have on their bottom line in the future.

INFOGRAPHIC: See survey results at-a-glance

61% of respondents feel autonomous trucks will become mainstream within the next decade

Autonomous vehicles are not a new concept, and as technology continues to advance, they're on pace to become a reality. Companies like Tesla, Google, Uber and others have begun experimenting with driverless cars. Amazon, Ford, UPS and other companies have piloted programs with the use of autonomous trucks.

However, significant roadblocks may be preventing the widespread adoption and use of self-driving trucks within the transportation industry, primarily safety and regulation. Before these vehicles become mainstream, solid infrastructure needs to be in place.

45% would like to incorporate alternative fuel, specifically electric and liquid natural gas

Alternative fueling is one of the hottest topics in the trucking industry today, and we’ve seen companies begin to explore fuel efficient and fuel-effective solutions to not only help control variable expenses, but also demonstrate their commitment to clean energy and the environment.

It's evident that the incorporation of alternative fuel has moved from a mindset to more of a reality. With this shift, we can expect that companies will look to integrate fuel efficient trucks when their leases reach maturity and they look to replace and upgrade models.

84% plan to make significant adjustments to their fleet composition; 17% indicated they plan to invest in new asset classes to favor last-mile delivery, and 33% are expecting to increase the size of their fleets.

Consumers have become accustomed to extremely quick, low- or no-cost delivery and shipping options. For many transportation companies, this has resulted in a need to augment traditional long-haul delivery and incorporate shorter, quicker deliveries, known as last-mile delivery.

As the digital marketplace continues to evolve, it's likely that transportation companies will need to continue to adjust business models and change their fleet size and composition to accommodate the fast, free and convenient delivery service that consumers demand.

For the complete survey report, please contact Caitlin Day, VP, Corporate Communications Manager, at

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