The popularity of the trucking business is growing immensely. Especially after the pandemic, people have switched to online transactions even more. This increases the already existing high demand for trucking services to ensure faster delivery rates and higher customer satisfaction.
Consequently, these trucking companies require professional drivers. According to data, the trucking industry provides jobs for more than 800,000 drivers in the USA.
However, currently, there is still a shortage of drivers in the market. One of the main reasons behind this is the changing perspectives that drivers have gained over time when choosing which trucking company to join. More specifically, prospective drivers started to pay great attention to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the trucking company produces.
Besides the aspect of environmental protection, drivers feel that the sustainable businesses of the trucking industry take better care of their employees in terms of benefits and engagement. However, will zero emission be realizable in the near future for any of the top trucking companies and will this continue to play a significant role in the decision-making process of drivers when it comes to selecting a new company to work for? Continue reading for the answer!
History of the Trucking Industry
Before diving deeper into the topic of sustainable trucking and the reasons behind it being one of the biggest trends in trucking, let’s briefly look at the historical development of the industry.
In the US history trucks gained the most popularity during World War I, when they were used for military purposes. Later on, the government started to introduce different laws and regulations, which led to the growth of trucking services in several other industries as well.
In the 20th century, the trucking industry started to play an even bigger role in the country’s economic and political history. Around the 1920s faster-driving trucks were introduced to the market, as the need for highways had become obvious for an easier and faster commute across the country.
Since then the industry has evolved at a very fast pace. Nowadays, there are many trucking companies in the US market that account for a huge part of the country’s logistic system. AJR Trucking has played and is continuing to play a huge role in the advancement of the industry in the US.
Among local trucking companies, AJR is one of the first to present environmental sustainability goals and adhere to them along every step of the company’s operations. Furthermore, AJR Trucking is well-known for its fast and impeccable customer service, which is due to the professionals that work in the company.
Current Industry Trends
According to data, the trucking industry handles the majority of cargo services in the US. Additionally, the latest trucking news shows that the number of employees in this sector accounts for approximately 10 million people.
Furthermore, the labor force is still growing quite rapidly as the industry is expanding its networks to many other spheres. Consequently, there is always a demand for new drivers. But before we dive deeper into the workforce-related trends in the trucking industry, let’s look at some general trucking tendencies. Below are some major trends in the trucking industry as of now.
One of the most important trends in the trucking industry is the planning stage before the implementation plan of the operations. This may seem an obvious strategic point, however, data shows that a lot of companies do not pay close attention to this step while trying to establish their own trucking company. Customer centricity and satisfaction are the main focus of the best trucking companies in the industry. And if the planning is done meticulously, then the operations of the company will run smoothly as well.
Permits and Licenses
- Inevitably there are many legal aspects that all trucking companies must take into consideration. Taxes to employee rights and management should be handled in detail. From the sustainability point of view, each state has its own regulations besides national laws.
- For example, California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate states that by 2035, 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles. Medium and heavy-duty trucks are required to be zero emissions by 2045. Companies like AJR should also participate in the execution of the mandate by integrating these types of cars into their operations.
Enlargement of Teams
Besides the drivers, the operations managers play an essential role in the success of any trucking company. They are the ones to get leads, coordinate operations, and make sure that all shipments are delivered on time. Furthermore, all trucking companies should invest heavily in employee appraisal. This is very important to make sure that the team is motivated and that the retention rate is low.
As already mentioned, sustainable business practices are very important to any company in the industry. Some sustainable business examples include being actively engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and making sure that customers are well aware of those initiatives. One of the major sustainability trends also includes making sure that the operations of the company cause minimal or no harm to the already existing air pollution.
Rising Fuel Prices
In addition to environmental sustainability, rising fuel prices have also urged many trucking companies to start considering the acquisition of trucks that operate with an alternative fuel source. In 2020 the demand for fuel has increased drastically. However, the supply has not been able to keep up. Effectively, the freight rates have increased as well, which will result in a shift in consumer behavior over the long run, as online deliveries will not be as convenient and affordable as they are now.
In addition to being engaged in many environmentally friendly practices, AJR Trucking is also investing a lot in the technological advancement of the company. One of the recent innovative projects that the company conducted was opening an RNG fueling station in Compton, California aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The trucking industry will continue to experience even further technological advancements in the future, which will positively affect both the labor and internal operations of the companies and the customer experiences.
Labor Issues in the Trucking Industry
The industry is continuing to recruit more professionals due to the growing market size of trucking in general, which accounted for over $700 billion in gross revenue last year. However, the growing demand for drivers is not satisfied yet. One of the major reasons behind the shortage of drivers is associated with early retirement, with only 23% of the workforce being above the age of 50. Another reason is the pandemic and its ongoing impact on the economy as a whole.
To satisfy the demand, many initiatives are being held to increase the presence of women in the trucking industry. However, the project is still in the initial stages of development, and the results are yet to be seen. Furthermore, many drivers have been filtering their job search recently and are looking for companies that are engaged in environmental CSR and sustainability practices. As not a lot of trucking companies do these things, many prospective employers do not even consider applying for open driver positions.
AJR Trucking, as an example of a company in the sustainable trucking industry, implements two core values to solve the driver shortage issue currently: professionalism and personality. Besides giving a lot of space and opportunity for professional career development within the company, AJR Trucking also promises steadiness due to its long-term collaboration with the US Post Office.
Environmental Sustainability and AJR Trucking
As already mentioned, many trucking companies in the industry try to engage in different CSR and sustainability projects. Some of those projects include the integration of zero-emission cars into the operations of the company. However, what does zero emission mean, and how realistic is it to achieve this goal?
A sustainable company, like AJR Trucking, is involved in many CSR-focused projects. More specifically, the effectiveness of their sustainability-related operations equals planting 149,778 trees and eliminating 2,097 metric tons of GHG emissions.
However, how do all of these points connect with employee satisfaction? Research shows that if a company is engaged in any sustainability-focused projects, then all the departments of the company benefit from those practices as well.
For example, according to the current employees, AJR Trucking does its best to maintain the work-life balance of the drivers. Being a truck driver can be pretty stressful sometimes as it may include driving for as long as 11 hours. Therefore, drivers truly appreciate the flexibility of work hours offered by AJR Trucking to balance the time they have with their loved ones.
Other factors that play a significant role in resolving the driver shortage issue are fleet tracking and regular fleet maintenance. Besides being a sustainable business practice and reducing the adverse environmental impact, fleet tracking also helps to cut the idle time for drivers and assist them in efficiently avoiding traffic. It is very important for drivers to know that the company is trying to make the workday as productive for the workers as possible.
AJR Trucking makes use of fleet tracking quite intensively. Furthermore, the company also heavily invests in regular fleet maintenance, which makes sure that the trucks are fixed, and no technical difficulties will emerge on the road. These two points are essential for drivers and impact their decision to join a particular trucking company. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the sustainability and CSR practices that the company is involved in, whether it’s the integration of zero-emission cars or regular fleet maintenance.
Why AJR Trucking?
Being a sustainable energy company is the major competitive advantage of AJR Trucking. Furthermore, trustworthiness and professionalism are also very descriptive of the company. From the driver’s perspective, AJR Trucking is one of the most reliable trucking companies to work for, as it has a long-term partnership with the US Post Office and is very invested in fleet tracking and maintenance.
More importantly, sustainability is not merely a trend now. As mentioned earlier, California’s latest regulation states that by 2045 all heavy and medium-duty trucks should be zero-emission vehicles. Working with a company that keeps up with the industry trends and is flexible enough to adjust to those trends is an advantage.
AJR Trucking is one of the few trucking companies that place this new industry outlook at the base of its operations. Therefore, it is the ideal place for those drivers who seek long-term career development and want to work in an innovative environment.