America’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling, with traffic-clogged freeways, pothole-strewn side streets and aging bridges making travel as much an aggravation as an adventure. But for the nation’s 3.5 million truckers, these troubled byways have lately proven to also be yellow brick roads leading to prosperity.
In fact, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), there’s no better time to be a trucker or to own a trucking firm in the U.S. The industry enjoyed a robust $796.7 million in revenues in 2018, up nearly $100 million from the previous year. Truckers moved almost 11.5 billion tons of freight in 2018, representing 71.4 percent of all U.S. tonnage freight. That number could be surpassed this year, as the ATA’s July 2019 truck tonnage index surged up 6.6 percent over June. The association is projecting the growth will continue over the next decade, forecasting a healthy 25 percent jump by 2030.
To celebrate, the ATA has declared Sep. 8-14, 2019, as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. The week will honor truckers for the jobs they do in delivering tons of products and goods safely, securely and on time throughout the country. The ATA estimates more than 80 percent of U.S. communities rely exclusively on truck drivers for deliveries.
“Truck drivers are an integral part of the nation’s growing economy and deserve to be celebrated by their companies, customers, neighbors, families and friends,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in an association press release. “Everything that we consume – groceries, school supplies, clothes, medicine – gets delivered by a truck driver whether it’s to your front door, your local market, or your workplace. These drivers improve our quality of life by dedicating themselves to safety and making every effort to deliver the things we need efficiently, professionally and responsibly.”
There are an estimated 1.2 million trucking companies across the nation. Combined, these firms operate 15.5 million trucks, two million of which are tractor trailers. The ATA says most carriers are small companies – 91 percent run six or fewer trucks and more than 97 percent operate 20 or fewer. About one in nine of the country’s 3.5 million drivers are independent owner-operators.
However, despite these numbers, there is a tremendous shortage of drivers, with more and more work available and not enough men and women behind the wheel to do it. The ATA estimates that an additional 60,800 drivers were needed at the end of 2018, and that number could be higher at the end of this year. Experienced drivers are retiring (the U.S. Census Bureau indicates the median age for a truck driver is 46 years of age versus 41 for all workers). Freight service demand is rising, due in no small part to a surge in e-commerce, which relies almost exclusively on deliveries. So, for younger workers looking for jobs in demand with plenty of income potential and growth, the trucking industry should be an appealing career choice.
Two issues facing many small carriers and independent owner-operators are cash flow and timely payments on invoices. Having slow-paying customers can put the brakes on a trucking company’s operations and growth. One easy way to improve cash flow and overcome slow pay (or no pay) clients is to sell your invoices to a third party, also called a factoring company. The factoring company can fund you the amount of your outstanding accounts receivable invoices upfront, giving you the cash you need today to run your business today, and eliminating the worry and hassle of slow pay collections. You’re left free to run your business. Invoice factoring is a convenient alternative to a traditional bank loan or fee-laden online loans. Factoring gives you the money you need when you need it with no long-term obligations. You can also get cash quicker through invoice factoring – usually within a day or two. To learn more, simply call toll-free 1-877-960-1818 or email email@example.com.
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