Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is by Rob Misheloff , CEO of Smarter Finance USA, who discusses why the economy relies on trucking jobs.
As of right now, there’s a great void when it comes to professionals in the trucking industry. Even though there are a lot of well-paying jobs available, there’s a shortage of truckers available to fill them. As a result, a record number of trucking companies have had to close their doors over the last year or so. There are a number of factors contributing to this, from not enough new truckers filling the shoes of retirees to increasing regulation making this less appealing career choice.
While those outside of the trucking world may be quick to brush this off as one niche’s problem, the truth is that issues with the trucking industry are far-reaching. Trucking is an essential part of the economy, and problems with this field could mean problems for the business world in general. Here are some key ways that trucking contributes to the economy.
1. Truckers play an essential role in the supply chain for manufacturers.
Just about every major finished product that you enjoy is the end result of the manufacturing process. This ranges from your furniture to your electronics to your medication. However, the facilities that manufacture these products before they are sent to retailers are rarely the same ones that extract the raw materials. After all, to get these raw materials, you often need to go to a mine or quarry or farm or lumber yard.
This is where the trucking industry is essential. Experienced truckers are necessary not just to physically transport raw materials to factories, but also to manage the logistical side of things. These manufacturing facilities need those supplies at certain times in order to fulfill orders. If you don’t have truckers, things get delivered late, and these essential manufacturing facilities start losing money.
2. Truckers pose a large amount of the job market.
As the demand for more products at the retail level grows, not to mention the rise of online delivery, there’s a huge amount of trucking jobs out there for the taking. The industry employs 8.7 million people in the U.S. alone (including those in positions outside of driving). The power of job creation in terms of the economy is something that financial experts and politicians have cited for decades. Giving a person a well-paying job (and many trucking jobs fall into that category) enables them to contribute more to the economy on a local and national level through both major purchases (like cars, homes, etc.) and taxes.
Every new person who decides to get into this industry is instantly making themselves a better contributor to the economy. This is a secondary reason why it’s so important to try and drive new truckers into the industry to make up for those who are retiring.
3. Trucking is a key element for supplying retail.
While we already talked about the impact of trucks on the supply chain, let’s talk about its impact on a smaller scale within communities. For example, a local retail establishment not only provides goods for a given community but also jobs for locals. In order to function, these need to obtain various finished goods from those manufacturers we mentioned earlier. This is where trucking comes in, not just helping the economy on a large scale, but on a smaller, local one also.
4. Trucking can be adjusted to respond to supply and demand.
For various reasons, you may suddenly see a lot of given demand for an item, whether it’s a trend or a true emergency. In these cases, it can often be essential to get large amounts of this item to a specific region in a short amount of time to avoid economic or other issues. Trucking is the easiest way to make this happen.
5. The trucking industry has a lot of political influence, making it easier to shift economic policy.
This one may be a bit of a surprise, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The trucking industry poses about 84% of all commercial transportation revenue. As a result, trade organizations like the American Trucking Association possess a high amount of political clout.
How does this impact the economy? Well, in terms of lobbying, the trucking industry has an ability to push or impact legislation to try and shift it in a manner that’s favorable either to trucking profits or the image of trucking (laws that restrict trucks from using certain roads, driving without rest, etc.). So, when other economic policies are being passed, they need to be filtered through the lens of whether or not it impacts the trucking world, or whether they will object to it.
Due to the importance of trucking on the economy in general, it’s important that in times of financial uncertainty, that you’re able to keep your trucking business in operation. This means not just following best practices and adapting to current needs, but also finding all types of available financing to support your company financially.