The American economy is a vast network of industries, connections, and globally renowned cities. The United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) is over $20 trillion, with around 130 million Americans work hard at full-time jobs. It takes a lot to keep this country of ours moving — we need doctors to keep us healthy, teachers to educate the next generation of workers, and countless business owners, office employees, lawyers, real estate investors, and other essential citizens to keep the economic engine firing on all cylinders.
We also need truck drivers, fleet managers, mechanics, and many other talented and dedicated people who work in the trucking industry. The trucking industry in the United States has a massive impact on our economy and on the way our country functions on a daily basis.
Taking a look at the trucking industry
The trucking industry in the United States of America is absolutely massive. There are about 2.8 million registered semi trucks in the United States, and they collectively drive hundreds of billions of miles every year. They’re manned by talented and dedicated truck drivers. There are about 3.5 million people employed as truck drivers, and currently more than 7 million Americans directly depending on the trucking industry for their jobs.
That’s a lot of people working hard to keep our trucks rolling, and a lot of Americans who depend on the trucking industry for their livelihoods. As many truck drivers as there are, there are still more people who manage fleets, help schedule shipments, and repair trucks so that they can get back on the road quickly. The tech industry is also involved in trucking — brilliant software engineers design solutions for shipping companies, software for managing truck repair shops, and apps that help truck drivers track their work and tasks.
The trucking industry makes a huge direct impact on the economy. But its influence is even more noticeable when considering the many ways in which other parts of our economy are built on reliable and speedy shipping — the sort of logistics that trucking is disproportionately responsible for.
Where would we be without trucking?
Without trucks, our entire nation would threaten to grind to a halt. It’s not hard to imagine that such an incident would be devastating for the US economy as a whole.
In the United States, 70% of all freight is moved by trucks. We use ships, planes, trains, and even pipelines. However, none of these other methods even comes close to tackling the workload that we expect out of our trucking industry. Our nation is connected primarily by road, and truck drivers that carry our essential supplies on busy highways or treacherous remote roads are the people that keep our country moving.
It’s easy to see the importance of trucking when you consider how quickly things would run out if our trucks were to suddenly stop moving. In a matter of days, we would find our hospitals short of essential medical supplies and our grocery stores stripped of fresh food. Soon, all of our other businesses — from essential suppliers like pharmacies to luxury goods stores — would be sold out with no way to resupply their inventory.
The trucking industry does a lot to influence our economy directly, but it is the industry’s secondary impact that is most overwhelming. There are few parts of the American economy that don’t heavily rely on the trucking industry, and no part of our economy is completely isolated from the hard work that trucking industry professionals do to keep the US economy on the road to prosperity.