ATA report: Trucking still plays important role for businesses, US economy

Trucking is still a vital component of the American transit system and is responsible for the majority of products shipped within the U.S., according to a new report released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The continued reliance upon this type of transportation indicates companies won't make the switch to alternative transit methods any time soon. Food service companies, beverage distributors, furniture manufacturers, building supply companies, retail chains, service organizations, healthcare providers or any other business that has staff or agents in the field delivering products or services benefits from effective routing software and delivery routing management software

Report shows industry growth is significant
The ATA's "American Trucking Trends" report revealed the industry was responsible for moving 9.4 billion tons of freight last year, which amounted to 68.5 percent of all domestic shipments. The figures reveal the economy may be improving, as they are both up from the previous year's data. Class 6-8 trucks covered more than 137 billion miles, a year-over-year increase of nearly 5 percent.

The industry is playing a major role in not only helping businesses deliver and receive shipments, but also the economic recovery. The report found the transportation sector employs nearly 7 million people, which could help spur demand for additional products and continue to help companies - and the demand for trucking services - grow. The industry is also helping state and federal infrastructure as it picks up; the report revealed companies paid $36.5 billion in state and federal highway fees and taxes, which is a jump of more than 10 percent when compared to the amount paid in 2009.

"As the nation continues to travel the road to recovery following the Great Recession it is becoming increasingly clear that trucking is leading the way," said Bob Costello, the ATA's chief economist. "The data in 'Trends' should provide a road map for policy makers and business leaders as they continue to plot the course of that recovery."

Advancing to meet client demands
As the industry continues to see an increase in demand for services, companies will need to make the advancements necessary to keep up with the times and make the best use of available resources. Order consolidation, where applicable, and taking the most direct route will become more essential as businesses notice they're scheduling more pickups and deliveries. Optimizing runs with routing software can help businesses move a mixture for both fixed customers and new deliveries. Top flight software works to optimize the overall routing scenario for the cheapest cost and not violate time windows or work constraints. Also, software that can accommodate instant updates of costs, mileage and hours as routes are modified may be in high demand.