Sure, if you’re asked to explain the trucking sector, you’ll probably be able to provide the following information: It entails enormous trucks and a large number of workers going long distances to transport massive loads from A to B. However, there is a lot more to the freight industry than you may imagine. Truck drivers are essential to the economy because they move freight and keep supply chains flowing. Trucks transport 65% of the country’s consumable items to their final destinations. According to recent research by the American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks transport 10.8 billion tons of freight annually, producing more than $700 billion in annual income.
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s dive in a bit deeper into the supply chains. You might just be quite surprised at how essential the trucking industry is to the U.S. economy. As well as every trucker that contributes their time and efforts within the trucking industry.
Here are the seven facts about the trucking industry that you didn’t know about:
Fact #1: Truck Drivers’ Labor Shortage
The trucking sector has 3.5 million drivers working for it. Having to spend long periods of time on the road and away from home is a difficult lifestyle for truck drivers. This is a big struggle for many truck drivers. Long-haul drivers are hard to come by and even more difficult to retain in the industry as a result of this. Aspects of the sector are also being affected by demographic trends.
The average age of a truck driver, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 55 years old. A large number of these drivers are also nearing retirement. The American Trucking Association (ATA) believes that the sector is short more than 50,000 drivers as a result of these reasons. By 2026, it is predicted that this number would have increased to 175,000.
Because of a scarcity of drivers, wages are being pushed upward, and fleet owners are implementing driver incentive programs. Such programs are intended to attract new truck drivers. In addition, it is to ensure that they are retained over time so that they can produce and deliver products.
Fact #2: Technology Affect On Trucking
Blind-spot monitoring, automated gearboxes, brake assistance, and variable cruise control are just a few of the technologies that are expected to become common within the next ten years. The trucking industry is also making advancements in the use of electric vehicles. North American Council for Freight Efficiency predicts that electric vehicles will not be used in every market. Although they will play an increasingly important part in freight transportation. Especially in Classes 3 through 8.3 over the next decade.
Fact #3: Introduction of Self-Driving Trucks
Will self-driving trucks put truckers out of business? Ultimately, according to experts, fully autonomous trucks (ATs) will be introduced in four waves during the next decade. PLATOONING is a mode of transportation in the first two waves that involves a group of vehicles. These vehicles will be forming a line and automatically replicating the speed, braking, and steering behavior of a lead vehicle. A driver will be required in each truck for the first few years. After that, a driver will only be required in the lead truck (which will be the last one).
Within a decade, driverless platooning will be more common, and fully autonomous. The advancement of technology is guaranteed to lower the operational costs of the trucking business. It will also aid in the continued research and development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
Fact #4: Females Are Minority in Trucking
The trucking industry may be dominated by men. However, more women are choosing trucking as a full-time career. These ladies from all different ethnicities and age brackets make up 6% of the trucking industry. That is a total of 234,000 drivers, according to The American Trucking Association.
Fact #5: Over 70% of Transport In The U.S. Is From Trucking
Did you know that truckers are responsible for more than 72% of all annual freight transports in the United States?
- Toilet paper.
- Cleaning supplies.
Yes, these are many other essential items we use on a daily basis all come from a truck. One of those semis that you see rolling on the highway. In the first quarter of 2019, freighters transported 11.84 billion tons of goods (ATA). This represented a nearly 3% increase in year-over-year transportation.
Fact #6: Constant Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Changes
What are Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) devices? ELDs were designed to track driving hours for regulatory purposes put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The trucking sector has been attempting to comply with the Department of Transportation’s standards on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for the past two years. Enhanced driver safety is expected to be achieved by the use of ELDs, which automate the process of documenting driving hours.
Carriers are no longer permitted to use Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs). Despite the fact that these devices were grandfathered in for the first two years of the ELD mandate. The AOBRD system was phased out on December 16, 2019. The more expensive ELD system is now being mandated. An estimated 2-2.5 million vehicles will need to be modernized as a result of the new ELDs being put in place since 2019.
Fact #7: Exponential Growth of The Trucking Industry
The trucking sector is flourishing, and it is predicted to grow by 21%. Because it is a multi-billion-dollar industry with a solid salary and job security, it is most definitely a considerable career choice. This is ideal for young adults or anyone really seeking to switch to an interesting career. A career that involves travel and adventure often throughout the continental U.S. Because of the increased supply and demand and current shortage of drivers now may be an impeccable time to jump into something more lucrative.
The trucking industry is the backbone of America. Without it consumers and businesses around the nation would be struggling. Everything from e-commerce to retail and in-between would be majorly affected. It’s important to understand the rolling trucking and truckers play in the U.S. economy. What would our world be without it?
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