“The trucking industry carried nearly 10 billion tons of freight in 2014 – more than two-thirds of all products transported within the U.S., according to American Trucking Associations, a national trade group. And the sheer size of freight being carried around the country is expected to expand nearly 29 percent by 2026. Though truck drivers’ jobs can be far from glamorous, they play a fundamental role in getting America’s goods where they needs to go.
“As long as goods are being bought or sold in the U.S., effective transportation systems will be a necessity. And since the vast majority of domestic freight still spends at least some time aboard a trucking rig, drivers have typically been in high demand. The supply, however, isn’t keeping pace. Though the Labor Department most recently estimated the U.S. held more than 1.6 million heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, that number is still shy of the industry’s 1.7 million peak in 2007.
“Now, considering the amount of freight being transported across the country ballooned more than 15 percent between May 2007 and May 2015, America’s trucking fleets are being forced to move more product with less manpower. And as the industry faces problems ranging from recruitment to static pay rates, some are eyeing better technology as at least a partial fix.”