Many individuals don’t necessarily think about the US trucking industry affecting their everyday lives, even though our economy depends on it. In this world of “instant gratification”, many things are taken for granted, including the trucks that move our goods. But we would be inconvenienced beyond measure, and grocery stores would run out of food, if it weren’t for trucks moving products.
Whether they know it or not, absolutely everyone is affected in some way, shape, or form, by the US trucking industry. Let’s take a closer look at this industry and some of the lesser known facts regarding it.
Efficient and Clean
When many people think of big rigs, they consider them to be gas hogs and inefficient. But in the past 30 years, the US trucking industry has seen massive improvements. Some ways in which the industry has improved include alternative fuel sources and aerodynamic devices. A more efficient industry that runs cleaner is the result of these trends.
Compared to trucks manufactured in 2010, today’s trucks have reduced emissions and fuel consumption by about 20%. Compared to 1999, sulfur emissions have been reduced by 97% on today’s diesel truck engines. Finally, compared to the emissions from just one truck from the 1980s, it would take 60 modern-day rigs to equal the amount.
Still, about 14% of the fuel used in the United States is consumed by trucks currently on the road – even with the above-stated improvements. That’s significant. But compare that to the 60% of greenhouse emissions (related to transportation) being produced by passenger cars and other light-duty vehicles.
The trucking industry is looking a lot more eco-friendly and efficient now, isn’t it?
The Delivery King
Who do you suppose is responsible for most of America’s freight shipping? That’s right, none other than the trucking industry. In 2017 alone, some 10.8 billion tons of freight were moved by the US trucking industry (according to ATA – American Trucking Association). What does that equate to regarding the yearly United States transported tonnage? It’s about 70% of the total. So, for every person in the country, about 30 pounds of goods is transported every year!
America’s Success Relies on Semi-Truck Driving
Is truck driving a waning industry due, in part, to air travel? Even with transport by airplane, trucking still accounts for approximately 5% of America’s GDP. In the United States today, there are in excess of 3.5 million truck drivers. But more than just drivers are included in the trucking industry. Americans that currently have jobs in this industry equate to roughly 7.4 million. So, in some capacity, one in every 15 employed individuals have those jobs courtesy of the trucking industry.
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