How The Trucking Industry Moves Our World

Trucking Industry - red 18-wheeler on highway

Trucking Industry

There’s not much in this country and in the world that doesn’t spend at least a little bit of time in transit on a truck. The trucking industry delivers our most essential commodities – fuel, eggs, milk, bread, vegetables, and they bring to our doorstep all of the shiny trappings of consumerism. The benefits of the trucking industry impact nearly every single American, from the shipment of a bottle of aspirin to a new pair of shoes,  the trucking industry moves our world.

According to an online piece by contributing writer, Jake Medwell, “Trucking is the physical backbone of e-commerce, and person-to-person shipments. In the US alone, spending on overland logistics reached over $700 billion (in 2015)… at least $600 billion of that is FTL (full truckload), roughly half of which is private carriers and half of which is brokered freight. The rest of the market is comprised of ‘parcel’ shipping at $49 billion, LTL (less than truckload) at $35 billion, and Air at $28 billion, making trucking one of the largest single industries in the country.”

Trucking and Jobs in America

According the 2014 US Census, the most commonly held job in America is that of truck driver, and to satisfy the endless demands for the shipment of goods across the country and the planet, carriers operate 24 hours a day – 3 million drivers long-hauling 2.5 million class 8 trucks. Despite the fact that it is the most commonly held job in the US, over the years trucking has fallen out of favor with younger generations, so the industry is currently experiencing a shortage of commercial drivers. According to Medwell of, “There are 532,000 carriers in America… however, the carrier market is extremely fragmented:  90% of carriers have fewer than 6 trucks in their fleet and 50% of carriers are owner/operators.”

Trucking is the Lifeblood of the US Economy

According to the American Trucking Associations, Reports, Trends and Statistics, “Over 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. To move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually requires over 3.4 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3.5 million truck drivers. It also takes over 38 billion gallons of diesel fuel to move all of that freight. Simply – without trucks, America stops.” In 2014, 297.1 billion miles were travelled via registered truck, with 169.8 billion miles travelled in combination trucks.

The Future of the Industry

Despite the vast scope and reach of the trucking industry, it suffers from a lack of technology and in many ways the existing technological resources remain inefficient and outdated. Shippers, carriers and brokers lack a sophisticated means by which they can communicate, place orders, check inventory and schedule deliveries. Says Medwell, “The entire industry is run on archaic 15+ year old software, almost no data is captured, and none of the software systems can communicate with each other. Drivers often sit idle, waiting hours for pick-ups and even driving routes with no loads… (and with brokers) hours are still wasted on waiting for quotes and booking trucks. Fortunately, the technology community has taken notice of the massive opportunity in this space… (and) there has been a 90% increase in venture capital put to work… since 2013, totaling… over $400 million ($71 million in 2015 alone).”

Contact an SCL Consultant today

The trucking industry is responsible for transportation of the finished consumer goods and raw materials that America relies upon. It’s impact on the American and global economy is undeniable – delivering foreign and domestic goods to distribution centers around the country. For a fleet of trucks to run efficiently, they need proper maintenance and the best possible products..

In a wide range of industrial sectors, if there’s metal touching metal, oil is involved. At SCL, we’re here to protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving and we pride ourselves on providing superior logistics and solutions, extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. For information on how SCL can support your fleet of trucks with a comprehensive line of quality, certified products and services, contact an SCL consultant today

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