This summer, while you’re on the way to a barbecue, the pool or heading away on a beach getaway, you’ll be sharing the road with millions of Americans. As one of 3.5 million professional truck drivers on America’s roads, I’ll be joining you on the road too, as I help deliver the goods that you’ll rely on all summer long.
Making special summer days happen is due in large part to the trucking industry: The food on the grill, floats in the pool and umbrellas on the beach were all delivered to you by a truck. The trucking industry, which is supported by 7.7 million professionals including drivers, technicians, vendors and partners, delivers to 80% of America’s communities.
According to the American Transportation Research Institute here in Florida, more than 84% of our communities rely exclusively on trucks for the delivery of everyday goods. Florida’s professional truck drivers travel over 14.6 billion miles year-round to deliver everything we rely on, including our food, medication, clothing and the gas in our cars.
The trucking industry is a strong contributor to our economy, supplying goods and jobs to our local businesses and communities. Here in Florida, the trucking industry provides one out of every 21 jobs, thanks to 37,230 trucking companies. In total, the industry contributes over $700 billion in revenue a year in the U.S.
But a driver and technician shortage in the U.S. threatens to slow the industry down as our economy strengthens and demand within the trucking industry grows. The American Trucking Associations reports a shortage of 50,000 qualified drivers.
Fewer trucks on the roads leads to slower deliveries, which will disrupt our lives, businesses and economy. If not addressed, the job shortage could literally shut down trucking operations and our deliveries in Florida and throughout the country.
Professional truck drivers have suffered from unfair and outdated stigmas over the past few decades, which has led to a decrease in the number of drivers in the industry, especially among younger generations. Trucking Moves America Forward, an industry-wide movement, has been working to change the misguided view of truck drivers by educating the public on the positive contributions that hardworking truck drivers make to our communities and economy.
In fact, Trucking Moves America Forward’s research earlier this year found that of those who know someone in the trucking industry, 74% have a much more positive view of the industry and nearly half of those (49%) who know someone in the trucking industry believe that the industry’s safety record has gotten better over the last 20 years. So, while the industry’s image continues to improve, there’s work to do to fill the job shortage and keep our industry thriving.
Without trucks drivers, there would be no deliveries to our businesses, hospitals or schools. Imagine no medicine or food being delivered. Our lives — and our nation’s economy — would essentially come to a standstill. That’s why truck drivers take great pride in our work: We are helping to move America forward through safe and on-time deliveries.
Read more here at NewsChief.com.