Contrary to popular belief, the trucking industry is constantly changing and growing. Even more conservative forecasts show the industry growing by several percentage points over the next few years, and there’s an ever-increasing demand for drivers. Because of this, the industry is trying to modernize faster than ever before. As such, there’s never been a better time to get started on a career in the trucking industry. Before you begin, here are a few things that may surprise you about the industry.
It might seem that the trucking industry is immune to the effects of technology. After all, the basics of the job have always been “pickup, driving, and dropoff”. However, technology influences the industry much more than it appears. New fleet applications make it easier to schedule hauls, organize repairs, and order and track inventory such as undercarriage parts. This greatly streamlines the overall hauling process, helps mitigate downtime, and improves route turnaround.
Another big industry consideration is the advent of automated vehicle technology. That’s right, passenger vehicles aren’t the only ones looking towards a driverless future. While the availability of automated vehicles is still quite a ways off, driverless trucks are being investigated by several companies. One such company is the vehicle pioneer Tesla, which has already invested a significant amount of money into hybrid electric trucking cabs to reduce industry emissions.
This one may not be so surprising, but truly, the warehouses are big. Really big. In fact, the average warehouse size has doubled since 2002 and given the steady increase in the need for dedicated distribution centers, that growth isn’t stopping any time soon. The average shipping warehouse is estimated to be around (or larger than) 25,000 square feet. That number only goes up when you think about some of the industry’s biggest shippers such as big box retailers and a few enormous online marketplaces.
Even the warehouses are working to streamline the shipping process. While some still use traditional loading bays to fill up trucks, others are incorporating a drive-through model full of massive mezzanines for large trucks and independent shippers alike. Though it may be a no-brainer to say that these warehouses are large, chances are you’ll find it hard to refrain from saying “wow” when you first step inside one of them.
Need for quality
Remember that bit about a growing need for qualified drivers? With the industry continuing to expand, this has never been more true. The top carriers are always looking to bring in new talent. They’re also willing to invest in quality and loyalty. Even the smaller carriers have started amping up their benefits to match their competition. This means increased starting salaries, better route availability, the option for in-city hauls, and health insurance benefits.
The sheer prevalence of trucking, which has truly become ubiquitous nowadays, means there’s an unprecedented level of job security to be had. The trucking industry has gained a certain level of notoriety as a result of its high turnover rates so carriers are working towards incentivizing retention. Plus, since shipping and distribution exists in most every corner of the country, you’d essentially have your pick of where you’d live knowing that a job would be waiting for you.
The road ahead
While the trucking industry may not be all that glamorous, it’s still taking steps towards being much more modern and accommodating. From the technological strides being made to the industry’s expanding need for workers, it’s an excellent time to consider beginning your career in trucking. The only thing left for you to do is explore the road ahead.