Infrastructure Issues Hinder Weakened U.S. Trucking
“The U.S. trucking industry is already teetering on the edge of crisis mode – if it hasn’t entered it already – and infrastructure issues only exacerbate the problem.”
The U.S. trucking industry still faces a substantial labor shortage. Although brewing for a number of years, the labor crisis became aggravated in the wake of the Great Recession.
During the recession cargo levels dropped, as did the need for drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations. “However,” Livingston noted, “as trade got going again, hiring among trucking operators did not follow suit.” The driver shortage spiked to 38,000 in 2014.
But the bigger question is what will the new truckers, even if they are to be found, end up driving on?
The state of transportation infrastructure in the United States is a significant problem and the issue directly affects truck drivers who transit over crumbling roads and bridges every day.
Traffic congestion cost the trucking industry nearly $50 billion and robbed 728 million hours in delivery time from truckers in 2014, according to a report from the American Transportation Research Institute.
“Truckers and the roads they drive on are two of the more pressing issues the industry faces in a pivotal year due to the ongoing election in the U.S.,” the Livingston report said. “The front runners, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, running for the Democratic and Republican nominations, respectively, have both stated that they intend to invest in infrastructure should they be elected president.”
Clinton released a five-year, $275 billion infrastructure plan while Trump was quoted as saying the “$4 trillion” spent on the war in Iraq would have been better used on roads and bridges.
“Should either candidate become president and follow through with infrastructure proposals on the campaign trail, there would be at least one less issue for truckers to worry about,” Livingston concluded.
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