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Deliveries by Truck Amid a Volatile Ecosystem

Vehicle Transport in South Africa

Deliveries by Truck Amid a Volatile Ecosystem

Deliveries by truck are vital for development and have played an important role since the early 1900s in wealth creation.  Deliveries by truck have helped create a fairer distribution of wealth and jobs between urban and rural areas.

Road transport today carries, on average, more than 80 percent of inland freight volume.  Around 6,000 billion ton-kilometers of goods are transported yearly by road. It’s no surprise that around 85 percent of road freight covers distances of 150km or less due to routes that other forms of transport cannot manage. 

Road freight transport adds to the economy by creating employment in truck-related industries as well as vehicle manufacturing, rentals, and supply chains.

Today’s transportation covers more miles using fewer vehicles and reaping the benefits of low fuel prices. Pressures are quickly approaching in the road freight ecosystem. According to Deloitte research:

commercial vehicle manufacturers are expected to sell barely any more heavy and medium commercial vehicles in 2026 than they do today

Analysts suggest that this static fleet will move more goods and is set to grow 27 percent by 2027.  Fuel and salaries make up most of the costs with individual deliveries.  These factors are highly influenced by prevailing market forces; carriers have limited control over these costs.  The crude oil price has reduced key input for the industry.  Carriers have been able to turn volatility into profit by passing the costs onto consumers.  Low oil prices can reduce auto freight volumes for carriers within the energy industry and not with all carriers.

Fuel isn’t the only factor, since the early 80s, the trucking industry has experienced driver shortages due to low wages, aging staff, and a decline in health from long-distance hauling.

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