Past, Present, and Future Changes in the Trucking Industry
Truckers play a vital role in the US economy. Countless organizations from every sector of the economy depend on truck drivers for delivery and transportation services. But being a mainstay in a changing economic landscape means that truck drivers have been forced to adapt to changes as well. While not all of these changes have been negative, emerging patterns can be seen when past and present changes in the industry are examined. By using this information, it is possible to anticipate what changes may take place in the future of the industry as well.
One of the most influential changes in the trucking industry occurred with the establishment of the interstate system. Though freight delivery had been popular since the early 1900s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that interstate highways became prominent and gave drivers the infrastructure they needed to make safer and more comfortable trips. Of course these highways weren’t built only for truckers – and the widespread emergence of so many large commercial vehicles on the road caused concerns among the motoring public.
The rising prominence of trucks on interstate highways in close proximity to other drivers have led to more regulations and laws affecting everything from the weight of vehicles to how long drivers must rest in between trips. Many drivers believe that these regulations have been used to appease the public, and have had less of an impact on safety than many would like to believe. And given the large amount of regulatory compliance a largescale trucking company must maintain, many believe that a decentralized approach to trucking will become prominent in the future.
With the rise of Uber, app-based systems that match drivers to those who need their services have started to emerge in the trucking industry. This trend could help self-employed truckers find work in a much quicker manner. However, even these drivers must maintain regulatory compliance. While the decentralized nature of such a system makes it difficult to enforce this, many new prototypes of truck parts are being developed to help streamline safety compliance and make it easier for truckers to work free from regulatory oversight.