Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Summit is a one-day event for trucking companies that look to optimize their operations through the extensive use of advanced technologies. However, the areas that the technology touches upon are so diverse that there is a need to prioritize the trends and lead the trucking industry changes in a certain direction. The Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Summit is doing exactly that by inviting the major players of both the trucking business and the technology industry to share their expertise and perspectives on future market trends.
AJR Trucking, one of the top trucking companies on the West Coast, was also participating in the summit this year. The company is the long-term partner of the United States Postal Services, which demonstrates the trustworthiness and professionalism of AJR Trucking.
Before we look at the specific services that AJR Trucking provides, let’s look at the overall structure of the trucking business. Additionally, we discuss the current and future trends of the industry, the necessary details anyone needs to know to open a trucking business in the US as well as the characteristics that the best trucking companies possess.
Trucking Industry Background
The history of the trucking industry dates back to World War I. During that time trucks were mostly used to transport military equipment, as well as personnel. However, with the further developments of road systems across the country, the trucking industry became more prevalant. Trucking started to have a substantial influence on the economic and political history of the US in the 20th century. Despite the growing significance, there was a lot of room for improvement in the trucking equipment used. For example, during that time the trucks had only rubber tires, which made the trips too rough and slow. The situation changed in 1920 when air-filled tires started to be utilized for trucks.
Additionally, in 1916 The Seattle Chamber of Commerce financed the travel of a truck driver from Seattle to New York to understand how beneficial highways could be for easier and more efficient transportation of goods. Later on, in 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower took office and the era of substantial changes began. Inspired by the quality of the high-speed roads in Germany, he started the construction of a highway system in the US. One of the major reasons behind the construction was to defend the country against future threats, such as another war, and evacuate cities quickly if needed. Additionally, these highways would also facilitate the transportation of military equipment if such an event was to take place.
Nowadays, the demand for truck drivers is growing. After President Biden announced that the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will operate 24/7, the demand for trucks increased. However, with a lack of truck drivers, there is a lot of open space for new trucking jobs. If you ever thought about working in the trucking industry, then continue reading to learn about the best trucking companies to work for.
How does the Trucking Business Work?
Generally speaking, trucking is considered a service industry. As with any other service provider company, trucking businesses also need to prioritize customer satisfaction. To succeed in this objective, preplanning is a crucial step for any trucking company. The best trucking companies, like AJR Trucking, understand this aspect and emphasize the importance of it within their company.
Another essential detail to know about the trucking industry, in general, is the specific permits and certifications that companies need in order to provide trucking services. For example, all truck drivers need to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
And despite the fact that the drivers are the ones behind the wheel, they’re actually not the only ones responsible. The operations manager is the one responsible for the safe and uninterrupted delivery of the service. Operations managers work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the proper handling of logistics. This is why truck drivers need to have excellent communication skills in order to clearly communicate every detail to the back office.
Overall, 80% of American communities depend on the trucking industry with regard to the delivery of goods and services. Additional data shows that 70% of freight is moved by local trucking companies. These statistics only demonstrate how big the sector really is and the high demand for local trucking jobs. However, with the great potential for growth within the industry, you may be thinking about establishing your own trucking company. A few sections later we touch upon the main points of a business plan for a trucking company. Therefore, keep reading to learn more!
Current Trucking News and Trends
Some of the current trends in the trucking industry include, but are not limited to an increase in freight transportation due to COVID-19, sustainability practices, team truck driving, and the rise in fuel prices.
According to the US Freight Transportation Forecast, in 2022 there will be a 24% increase in freight trucking. This, in turn, will account for 67% of the increase in revenue for the trucking industry overall. Additionally, more freight transportation means more opportunities for people who are interested in different trucking jobs.
Another major trend in the trucking industry is the implementation of sustainability practices into the day-to-day operations of companies. Customers have become more eco-conscious regarding any industry, and trucking is no exception. One of the major changes that could be made by trucking companies to meet the sustainability objectives is the use of electric vehicles to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, team truck driving is another major trend in the trucking industry. This practice implies two truck drivers taking turns behind the wheel during long rides; this rotating schedule allows both drivers to sleep while completing their route without any interruptions.
Last, but not least, the rising fuel prices have impacted the trucking industry as well. Unfortunately, we are continuing to see the result of this impact since freight rates have increased as well. On the other hand, this challenge is actually an opportunity for trucking companies to switch to electric vehicles and implement more eco-friendly practices.
Characteristics of the Best Trucking Companies
Before getting into the guide for establishing your own trucking company, let’s look at some of the important characteristics that top trucking companies possess.
The first major characteristic for a trucking company to be considered the best is again related to sustainability. Customers prioritize companies that are engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, which can include anything from integrating electric vehicles to using higher quality fuel. AJR Trucking has been initiating these kinds of projects for several years already. As a result, the sustainability practices that the company implemented are equal to planting 149,778 trees and eliminating 2,097 metric tons of GHG emissions.
The second major characteristic that people look for in top trucking companies is employee appreciation. Especially for beginner drivers, entering the trucking industry can be quite challenging. That is why it is important that the company provides its employees with all of the necessary resources, motivation, and encouragement to help people grow within the company. AJR Trucking implements these kinds of practices quite often, which is one of the reasons why it is considered one of the best trucking companies to work for.
Future Trends of the Trucking Industry
Trucking industry is evolving with great speed and there are already a few future trends present in the market already. One of the first trends that have a huge potential for growth is the involvement of women in trucking. The proportion of women truck drivers in the industry is around 7%. This rise was due to several factors, including the improved safety of trucking, non-profit organizations educating women about the benefits of becoming a truck driver, and the opportunity this job gives to women to create solid living conditions for themselves.
Furthermore, the future of the trucking industry is also tightly intertwined with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Especially with the shortage of drivers present in the market, companies started to look for ways to make autonomous trucking a reality. Self-driving trucks are apparently not far-fetched concepts anymore. Additionally, advanced electric vehicles are another future trend that would be prevailing in the industry.