Let’s face it; transportation has a massive impact on our daily lives. From commuting to work or completing daily errands to transporting goods to customers, we complete millions of journeys every single day.

While the fundamentals of the transportation industry have remained relatively untouched for generations, the increased volume of vehicles on the road, along with technological advancements have moved the goalposts. Here are the trends in the transportation industry to look for in 2020.

Increased Digitalization

We live in an increasingly digital world, and the transportation industry is naturally impacted by this in a big way. Transportation companies can redesign services and products, starting with improvements to vehicle design for road, rail, and sea. This can extend to the cargo-related vehicles. Meanwhile, digitalization continues to encourage further improvements to journeys, reducing the need for investments of time, effort, and money.

Digitalization doesn’t only improve the consumer’s UX. It also increases the speed of productivity during aspects of manufacturing, loading, fulfillment, and payment processing. While digitalization is nothing new, the improvements in software and hardware, including smart technologies are set to take efficiency to a greater level than ever before.

Big Data Reliance

Big data, including the ability to analyze and systematically extract information is a big part of the transportation industry. The automated data gained through these processes pinpoint clear trends relating to key aspects of their operations. In turn, this allows managers and decision-makers to act with confidence and accuracy, particularly through Machine Learning and A.I.

This can relate to anything from costings to logistics, supplier choice to manufacturing processes. Transport planners utilizing big data in a more prominent fashion will be positioned to make better decisions for themselves, the business, and the end-user, regardless of which sector of the industry they are situated. The data collected from road users, consumers, and others can be used to great effect, thus reducing inaccuracies and supporting sustained success.

Location Intelligence

Location intelligence is a technology that is growing in popularity across a host of industries. However, the transportation industries are perhaps the greatest beneficiaries from a logistical perspective. The use of anonymous mobile location data collects pings from mobile devices and can be used for one-to-one interactions, creating a better user experience for road users while also spotting trends such as which modes of transport are used for roads.

Whether working as the transportation planner for road planning, or working directly within the transportation services industry, location intelligence can also use flexible study periods to identify changes between weekdays and weekends. An immersive open source UI and rich API are sure to provide transport industry professionals with greater insights and improved capabilities.

Geographical Obstacles

This year is set to be another year of significant disruption and transition for transportation services in certain locations. This is especially true for order fulfillment and transportation services working in some locations. The political landscape in the United Kingdom and EU, along with developing strained international relations across the globe could cause issues for those working in trade sectors of transportation.

Further challenges are to be presented by natural disasters in America, across North America, and further afield. Some of the hurricanes of 2019 still pose problems due to the ongoing nature of the ongoing repairs and reconstructions to roads and surrounding areas. While the works in the United States tend to be completed sooner than in many territories, the volume of disasters is an issue.

Greener Technologies

On a related note, though, transport industry managers and workers are tasked with embracing eco-friendly technologies and strategies. Manufacturers and others within the industries of producing transportation products have made huge leaps in the past few years. Consumer expectations and government pressures have turned the pursuit of green technology greater than ever. It’s something all transport planners must embrace.

This can mean using electric or hybrid vehicles, reducing unnecessary weight or planning journeys with greater control and insight. The logistical improvements bring financial rewards for the company in the long run while also boosting brand reputations, which are features all business owners crave. Crucially, the impact of transportation on the planet is huge, so it’s a big movement.

Reduced Traffic

Road planners and managers would love to take all the credit. While smart city designs are an important feature, the fact is that modern communication enables a lot of people to work from home. It reduces the volume of vehicles on the road, which is a crucial counterweight to the rapid population growth. It can have a positive impact for some and cause problems for others depending on the sector they’re in.

A lot of individuals that work remotely no longer need their own transportation or the use of public transport. Of course, those selling vehicles or manufacturing anything related to transportation will face new challenges as a result. However, transportation services can complete assignments a little quicker. On a side note, pollution and vehicle performance can be affected by this issue.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has changed many industries, and the transport sector is involved too in 2020. The smart technologies allow trucks and other vehicles to interact with surroundings for efficient and safer driving. This can include identifying road hazards and mapping out journeys with real-time accuracy, which ultimately serves to reduce road traffic accidents by a forecast figure of 80%.

Data distribution with trains, trucks, ships, and planes is set to improve thanks to the Internet of Things. While some pioneering companies have already incorporated the technologies, the increased presence will become a hot trend in 2020 and 2021. This will raise the bar of productivity, safety, and efficiency while geo-fencing and analytical tools will allow drivers to up their game in the process.


Technology is changing the world of transportation, and not only in regards to vehicles. Transportation industry professionals must pay attention to the significance that big data, location intelligence, and other tech features are sure to play. When embracing those items, transportation planners are sure to enjoy a positive year.