The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA) has announced that AJR Trucking has been nominated for the Top Green Fleets awards. NSRMCA represents the trucking companies that have a contract with the U.S. Postal Services. The Green Fleet award honors the local trucking companies that promote sustainability through the use of electric vehicles, alternative, and renewable fuels, green facilities, sustainable technology, and other aspects that showcase the corporate social responsibility practices of the trucking business.
AJR Trucking has been considered one of the best trucking companies in the US that has been working with USPS for several years. Furthermore, the company became one of the early adopters of alternative fuels through integrating green fleet practices and significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the trucks. Being nominated for the Green Fleets award demonstrates the dedication of the trucking company to having a positive impact on the protection and improvement of the environment.
Moving forward, let’s look at the history and the structure of the trucking industry to better understand why sustainability has become such a critical issue. Additionally, we have presented some of the latest trucking industry news, future trends, and some piece of advice if you decide to open your own company as a trucking services provider in the US.
Historical Background: Trucking Industry
History of the trucking industry traces back to several decades before. However, trucking gained popularity in the US during the 1930s, when the government started to implement laws and regulations as a result of urban growth and, consequently, highway expansions.
However, trucking in the 1900s was nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today. Back then, trucks were used solely as motorized wagons, where the motor had space only for the driver. The structure of the vehicle was completely different, with no front side of the cab, and with rubber-only tires. Those tires made the trips very tough, and slow. Only after air-filled tires were integrated into the trucks, the roads became much easier to overcome.
A turning point for the trucking industry in the US was the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which came to effect in 1956. The act authorized building a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways. The budget for the project was $26 billion. The government took on 90% of the costs, whereas the states had to pay the remaining 10%. This only shows how important the new highway system was for the US government. At first, the highway system was primarily for national security purposes, however, later on it became one of the decisive factors for the future development of today’s commerce and transportation.
How Does the Trucking Industry Work?
Before diving deeper into the structure of the trucking industry in the US, we would like to highlight the fact that over 80% of freight is transported through big trucking companies in the US. This statistic shows the importance of the trucking industry for the US economy. Additionally, the industry opened up and still continues to hire vast amounts of professionals from different fields. In fact, trucking businesses in the US have employed 902,000 truck drivers.
Trucking is considered a service industry, therefore, one of the main objectives of any trucking company is the satisfaction of the customers. That is why proper planning and a strong operational structure are key in order to become one of the top trucking companies within the industry. To achieve this goal, the role of operations managers is invaluable. They are the ones who start the operation by taking the call, informing the driver about every single detail of the order, making sure that the commute is uninterrupted and utmost efficient, as well as providing the driver with special delivery instructions, if applicable.
In terms of the future structure of the trucking industry, it is leaning toward becoming more sustainable now. Having a trucking business plan and complying with all of the regulations is a must for starting your own trucking company in the US, however, to fit in well within the industry structure, integrating a sustainable business model should be a priority for any trucking company. These days customers value sustainability and environmental protection more than ever. Therefore, they go after only those companies that preserve these values. If your trucking company clearly communicates its corporate social responsibility priorities, then it will definitely attract a good number of customers.
Trucking Industry Trends
Talking more about the latest trends in the trucking industry, we would like to first mention its rapid growth rate. According to the American Trucking Association’s US Freight Transportation Forecast, freight trucking will undergo a 24% increase in 2022. This consequently will result in a 67% revenue increase for the industry. With the increase in the trucking industry’s size, there is a growing demand for local truck drivers as well. Top trucking companies, like AJR Trucking, have also started to create incentives, such as high pay rates and flexible schedules, to attract truck drivers. Additionally, women’s role in the trucking industry evolves as well with many women choosing to pursue a career as truck drivers.
Team truck driving is another latest trucking industry trend. This practice was created to help truckers achieve the objective of their tasks more efficiently. It is when two drivers switch seats according to a predetermined schedule to ensure that both of them catch up on the necessary amount of sleep they need.
As already mentioned above, the role of sustainability in the trucking industry is growing as well. With the rise of fuel prices and the growing dangers of air and noise pollution, the biggest trucking companies in the US have started to invest heavily in the integration of electric trucks in their companies’ operations. Another common practice to meet sustainability objectives are eliminating cars from the road, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of alternative fuel sources, like AJR Trucking is doing.
Trucking Business: Key Things to Know
After reading about the growth potential of the trucking industry, you might be interested in starting your own company in this sector. Before getting into the technical details of the process, we would like to mention some of the top criteria that the best trucking companies have to follow.
The first point is environmental sustainability. It is important to note that sustainability is not merely a trend. The environmental hazards due to greenhouse gas emissions have been growing rapidly. That is why all trucking companies should be concerned about minimizing their harm to the environment. To illustrate this point, AJR Trucking has been involved in such sustainability practices, that are equivalent to eliminating 2,097 metric tons of GHG emissions, and removing 1,235 cars off the road.
Moving on to the most important points of a trucking company’s business plan, we would like to start with the executive summary, which should include the purpose, unique selling propositions, descriptions of the services to be provided, sales and marketing practices, and all other points which are essential for starting the company in the first place.
Another important component of the business plan is the market analysis. It will not only help to identify the competitors, but also future partners and investors that could help take your newly established business to the next level.
Last but not least, making sure that all required licenses and permits have been obtained would be another important step in the process.
While answering the question of how to start a trucking company, we would like to touch upon the employee appreciation program too. As already mentioned before, all of the trucking companies are in need of truck drivers. In fact, there is a shortage of these professionals in the market due to rapid growth rates. However, with the large number of trucking service providers in the market, each trucking company needs to offer enough incentives for drivers to join. Top trucking companies, like AJT Trucking, try to foster a company culture that is not only about getting high pay, or having additional benefits, but also is all about respect, teamwork, and collaboration, which helps everyone to thrive individually.
Future of the Trucking Industry
Lastly, we would like to also mention artificial intelligence (AI) as another recent trucking industry news. It is no news that technological advancements have an impact on all industries already. And trucking is not an exception. One of the major improvements that are expected to happen in the trucking industry is the integration of driverless trucks that will operate through AI. The prototypes of these trucks already exist, however, their practical implications still need to be clarified.
Lastly, sensors are another major technological advancement within the trucking sector. Top trucking companies, like AJR Trucking, use these sensors on the trucks to prevent the risk of road accidents. This is especially helpful during long commutes or bad weather conditions.
To sum up, AJR being nominated for a Top Green Fleets award indicates that sustainability efforts are very much appreciated and acknowledged in the trucking industry. Being eco-conscious is one of the key characteristics to be considered as a top trucking company in the market.