Illinois Times: Trucking, A Bedrock of the Economy









Trucks: we see them every day on Illinois roads. We ride alongside them on the freeway. Many may be surprised to learn that the professional trucking industry has been a critical part of making the holidays happen for America’s families. From the Christmas trees that came from our forests far and wide, to the holiday meal that was cooked for your family, to the coats that keep you and your loved ones warm – trucking delivered the holidays.

The fact is that 70 percent of Illinois communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. Fewer trucks on the road would result in more expensive products and slower delivery times. Remove trucking altogether, and essential cargo would not arrive to our doorsteps at all.

Trucking is not only connecting the country and delivering goods that keep us healthy and comfortable, it’s also an economic engine that powers Illinois.

The trucking industry means jobs here in the Prairie State. The industry accounts for 278,920 jobs providing a good middle-class income. That’s nearly one out of every 18 jobs in the state and a substantial portion of the nearly seven million people employed nationwide in trucking jobs.

As of April 2014, there were 23,730 trucking companies located in our state, and most of them are small, locally-owned businesses. These companies employ our neighbors and friends.

The state’s trucking industry also keeps the larger, statewide economy moving, allowing businesses to prosper – to the benefit of business owners, employees and consumers of all stripes. Trucks transport 78 percent of total manufactured tonnage in the state – 1,665,727 tons per day.

Combine these benefits together, and trucking remains a top contributor to our nation’s economy. So next time a tractor-trailer passes by, or you’re at the local grocery store as a truck docks in the delivery bay, you’re not just looking at an impressive 18-wheeler traveling the road with your holiday meal that will stock the shelves, or toys for the children in your family. You’re looking at a vital machine for Illinois’ economic growth, prosperity and future.

Kevin Burch is co-chair of Trucking Moves America Forward which describes itself as an “industry-wide movement to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future.”

Link: Illinois Times