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Quiet Confidence Paves the Road to Change

Quiet Confidence Paves the Road to Change

2024 Isuzu Future of Trucking Report Thought Leadership Series  

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Ben Lasry, Isuzu Australia Limited Chief of Sales and Aftersales  

If the current state of Australia’s road transport industry and related sectors could be distilled down into a single descriptor, I’d have to opt for the word ‘change.’  

Perhaps like never before, the road transport sector is evolving apace and across several different fronts. This is evidenced in some of the sentiment unearthed in Isuzu’s latest Future of Trucking Report for 2024 aptly entitled, The Way Forward.   

Whether you perceive change to be a negative or a positive is of course subjective, however there’s no denying it’s upon us and arguably, more acutely than ever before.     

A new normal 

When it comes to applying some analysis to this topic, timing is everything and as you read this, the Australian economy has continued to evolve, more or less, as it was expected to in a post pandemic world. GDP growth has slowed, labour market conditions have eased and headline inflation has fallen from its peak. 

Drilling into our industry sector more specifically, the recurring theme of change rears its head once again. Be it regulatory such as the federal government’s recent increase in the overall width limit for new trucks with specified safety features, changing buyer behaviours or the rapid pace of development on the technology front - reaction to the dynamic evolution of the road transport industry in this report is indeed noteworthy.  

Uncertain times 

In a distinct change from the previous Future of Trucking report published in 2020, half of all businesses surveyed believe that their industry will change and evolve rapidly over the coming three years. This level of uncertainty represents a significant increase from the previous report, where only a third of businesses felt that the pace of industry change was of foremost concern.   

When broken down into industry type, this sentiment is most strongly felt by those in construction (55 per cent), transport, postal and warehousing (57 per cent) and the mining sector (66 per cent). 

One constant we can bank on in the transport sector is the persistent challenges faced by businesses large and small. The rise in the price of fuel - and the global forces dictating it - are of course a key one and of significant concern to the majority in the sector as the report outlines in greater detail.    

Freight costs and diminishing margins are another set of factors that are understandably high on the list of concerns for operators across the country, and for good reason.   

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Driving solutions 

So how then are these often-complex challenges being met?  

The data reveals a changing buyer behaviour trend that is providing the solution to a number of these hurdles – that being the purchase of more efficient, safer new trucks and even more are looking at a turnkey, ready to work solution to really optimise business efficiency on a range of fronts.   

A sizeable 63 per cent of those hailing from national freight fleets around the country expect the freight task to continue its upward trajectory of demand.   

The latest findings also indicate that business expectations more broadly across the totality for the road transport industry are a little less bullish from previous results, however strong anticipated growth remains.   

Overall, 44 per cent of businesses expect their volume of freight to increase over the coming 24 months, 24 per cent indicated it would remain the same and 33 per cent anticipated a decrease in overall demand for freight movement.  

On track 

Encouragingly, what we’ve also found in this report, is that many in our sector are well prepared and have a gameplan in place for the critical period that lays ahead of us.   

With such change upon us at a pivotal juncture in the history of our industry, this second instalment of the Future of Trucking is both timely and valuable for all stakeholders. 

In such a dynamic and ‘essential’ industry, there will always be a multitude of challenges and the findings of this report paint the picture of a sector that’s willing to tough-out the harder times and continue to work towards innovative solutions to new problems.  

As the saying goes, ‘change is the only constant’ in life and in business, so whatever the challenges may be, (and there’s a few to grapple with in our recent report), we can, and we should be extremely confident in the state of the Australian road transport sector.  

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About the 2024 Isuzu Future of Trucking Report Thought Leadership Series 

The Future of Trucking Report (FoT) Thought Leadership Series is a collection of comment pieces penned by industry experts within Isuzu Trucks and informed by from the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind in the Australian truck industry. 

The 2024 FoT report examined and identified key insights influencing transport businesses in the coming years and presents survey data collected from over 1,300 Australian stakeholders across the trucking and road transport sector. 

For further information about the report, including a full report download, visit The Future of Trucking: The Way Forward at isuzu.com.au/news/future-of-trucking.

About Ben Lasry 

Ben Lasry has spent his entire career of over 25 years in the automotive industry building strong industry relationships and a broad skills base. 

Ben has developed an impressive resume having worked in a range of key roles for GM Holden, plus stints with the Walkinshaw Automotive Group and at PrixCar Services. 

Joining Isuzu Australia Limited in 2020, Ben has executive responsibility for the overall performance and operation of the Sales, Aftersales and Network Development teams supporting the Isuzu network of dealers, authorised outlets and their customers. 

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Sam Gangemi Marketing and Advertising Manager, Isuzu Australia Limited
Arkajon Communications Public Relations Agency

 

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