The American Trucking Association describes that form of transportation as the “lifeblood of the U.S. economy.” Where rail shipping used to dominate, seven in ten pounds of cargo now move about the country by truck, on average, each year.
More than ten billion tons of freight travel the nation’s highways and roads courtesy of trucks every year, with millions of drivers and vehicles being devoted full time to the task. While every resident of the United States benefits from the reliable, safe, affordable transportation that the trucking industry provides, those living in more remote places often do so the most.
The Impressive Impact and Value of Trucking in Alaska
With only 1.3 residents per square mile of territory as of the latest Census Bureau estimates, Alaska is by far the least densely populated state of all. The vast distances between cities and settlements in Alaska combine with the state’s separation from the Lower 48 to make freight transportation both vital and challenging.
Even so, alaska trucking specialists live up to the responsibilities placed on them in truly commendable fashion. One in nine residents of Alaska is employed in the trucking industry, according to the Alaska Trucking Association, a fifty-year-old group that represents over 90% of the alaska trucking companies actively operating today.
Those businesses combine to pay more than $110 million in taxes to Alaska and the federal government every year, while also doling out over $1 billion in salaries and wages to workers. With dozens of communities throughout the state being entirely dependent on this form of transportation for the delivery of the goods they need to survive and thrive, alaska trucking services move more than 34,000 tons of freight over the roads each day.
Even given the challenges inherent in navigating Alaska’s sometimes treacherous terrain and weather, trucking has become steadily safer and more reliable over the years, as well. With violation rates dropping by more than a third over the course of one recent ten-year period, federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports paint an increasingly rosy picture of the safety and professionalism of the industry.
Trucking is a Mainstay of the Lower 48, as Well
The trucking industry provides service every bit as valuable in other parts of the country, too. Whereas coastal cities in the United States will often have somewhat less of a reliance on long-haul trucking, places further from the nation’s major ports almost always depend heavily on this form of transportation.
As the largest landlocked American state and the third-least densely populated, for example, Montana is another place where the always significant trucking industry stands out as especially so. Ninety percent of all freight-ton-miles, according to the state’s Department of Transportation, are conveyed by truck, with montana trucking companies also consistently seeking out even more trained, qualified drivers.
Where every American depends heavily on trucking for the goods and products that make life so rewarding, productive, and enjoyable, those living in certain parts of the country benefit even more than most. As trucking is such a safe, cost-effective way of transporting a huge range of commodities and products within the United States and beyond its borders, it will remain fundamental to the nation’s economy for a long time to come.