In 2021, 7.99 million people were employed in trucking-related jobs. This serves as a testament to understanding how trucking is immensely integral to the country’s economy. To that end, let’s delve into the fascinating history of how trucking became such an important part of the American economy.
A Brief History of How Trucking Soared Through the Ranks
- During the first world war, the US had up to 10,000 trucks to transport various products to different parts of the country, mainly transporting essentials to the soldiers – overcoming the time-intensive challenges of water and rail transport.
- By 1912, the new range of trucks had LED lights, making it convenient to travel long distances at night with almost no regular traffic. The travel time was greatly reduced, drawing the attention of many leading big box stores, such as Walmart and Target. Because these stores were regular supermarkets in almost all cities, the trucking economy was bound to boom.
- The technology of air-filled (pneumatic) tires also increased the overall efficiency and speed of goods delivery in the country, causing a significant impact on the railway industry.
- With rising popularity, the federal government focused its plans and investments on improving existing infrastructure by constructing roads and expressways.
- And as trucking became a preferred source for bulk transport, the fifth wheel was also added to further avoid delays in pickups and deliveries. In trucks, semi-trailers became the first choice that contributed to managing and transporting cargo essentials.
How Trucking Contributes to the Economy?
According to Business Insider, approximately 70% of all freight in the United States is transported by trucks, making trucking a major source of the country’s economic output.
Transporting Essential Goods
A major part of truckers’ jobs involves the regular pickup and delivery of essential goods like groceries. Because some of these goods are perishable or sensitive, they are transported in temperature-controlled trailers/trucks to ensure food safety while minimizing waste from loading and unloading.
The oil and gas vendors always depend on trucks to get their raw materials delivered, bearing the risk of transporting them from one end of the country to another. The healthcare sector also looks forward to large deliveries coming in swiftly through trucks from the manufacturing plants.
Technology has created a boundaryless world. Nowadays, manufacturers and industry professionals do not hesitate to place orders across long distances. The ever-expanding trucking industry and its drivers have made it possible by providing businesses with timely pickups and deliveries. This way, the businesses can focus more on their growth instead of the logistics of receiving their orders from afar.
Helping Build Infrastructure
Every aspect of the economy is interlinked; one industry’s growth is another industry’s potential progress. With increased truck traffic on the roads comes the need for better infrastructure, be it fuel stations, roads, or other facilities. The government, as a result, focuses its funds and budgets on improving the existing infrastructure. For example, in 2022, 39% of the spending on transportation and infrastructure was dedicated to highway transportation.
Providing Employment Opportunities
With more than 7.9 million employees nationwide, including more than 3.4 million professional truck drivers, the trucking economy is a source of livelihood for so many people. Truck drivers are skilled people who ensure the safety of all the goods they deliver. The role requires a great knack for time management, and they also need to be street-smart to deal with various issues that may come up during the commute.
The drivers must also be well informed about diversions or shorter routes to reach their destinations. Like any other job, truck drivers also have a stable job with benefits, depending on whom they work with.
Rescue During Crisis/Relief/Emergency Times
Truck drivers are always among the frontline workers during any national crisis. Trucks transport all medicines, essentials, and weapons due to their ability to deliver items quickly. Despite the fact that the trucking economy suffered during COVID-19, a small portion of the industry was still working to meet the country’s needs.
As per the American Trucking Association, the US generated a gross revenue of $875.5 billion from trucking in 2021, representing 80.8% of the nation’s freight bill. There is no way that any economy can function smoothly without the trucking community. They constitute a primary space in the overall supply chain management system. The trucking industry is, in fact, a cardinal part of all the major businesses that work on strict schedules to get goods delivered from one place to another.
The Way Forward
With the rising demand for truckers and their services, freight is getting smarter and more technologically advanced. Door sensors, ELD, cloud dash cams, IoT devices, and other technologies are being installed on freight to improve the delivery experience. You can now upgrade your vehicle with TruckX’s products, which are specifically designed for today’s truckers – keeping their comfort in mind. Get in touch with us to learn more about our offerings.