While researching the trucking industry’s impact on American consumers, I found this piece prepared by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) (pdf). This article effectively describes “The potential consequences of restricting or halting truck traffic in response to a national or regional emergency.”
According to Forbes Custom, “Trucking is the driving force behind all companies’ worldwide supply chains, moving nearly everything consumed in this country. Nearly 80% of U.S. communities receive their goods exclusively by truck. Virtually all U.S. goods touch a truck during at least one leg of the supply chain. Trucking moves nearly 70% of all freight tonnage in this country. Even goods that have traveled by railroads eventually wind up on a truck for the ‘last mile’ of the delivery.”
What would happen if the trucking industry suddenly disappeared from our lives?
- Groceries, fuel, medical supplies, garbage removal, and clean water would all soon become scarce.
- In a week or two, garbage and waste would become more than a nuisance and an eye sore. It would become a potential health hazard.
- Grocers would run out of perishables in two or three days.
- Banks would run short of cash and ATM’s would be out of money in as little as a day.
- Hospitals and pharmacies would begin running out of medications. For example, some would be out of oxygen in only a day or two.
- The clean water supply would quickly be disrupted, as vital cargo would not be shipped to water purification plants.
- Most gas stations would be out of fuel in less than a week, and some, in a day.
I believe many of us take the American trucking industry for granted. I know I have, but considering the statistics, it’s obvious how different our country would be without this vital industry, and the 10 million Americans it employs.