America, I like the way you move…move products that is. Freight, otherwise known as cargo or the transportation of goods, is the backbone of our country’s consumer driven economy. Without the dedicated delivery of essential products, the landscape of the retail industry would be dramatically altered. The indispensability of transport is often overshadowed by miscellaneous reports of accidents, theft and strikes. Current shortages in both the transportation and logistics industries gently remind us of the integral role these industries play in our everyday lives.
Clothes, coffee, gas, laundry detergent, cars–virtually any commodity you can name–are available courtesy of a transportation or logistics service. Many industries rely heavily on the delivery of products to effectively serve clients and manage their businesses. Hospitals order medical supplies (medications, syringes, catheters, etc.) to help doctors perform life-saving operations and offer patients much-needed care. Grocers depend on the timely arrival of food to ensure high quality and safe products line their aisles. Retailers trust that shoes, electronics and other merchandise will reach their shelves, creating an array of options for customers. All things considered, freight is a key factor in transferring goods from the warehouse to your house.
The transport of commodities via land, water or air, not only offers consumers the gift of convenience, but also provides jobs for over 25 million people nationwide. Whether a driver, longshoreman, warehouse worker or cargo handler, these professionals literally carry the load to ensure our lives are easier.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, recently weighed in on the importance of freight at the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), citing that the air cargo industry expands international trade and contributes to job creation and prosperity at home. In fact, the air cargo industry alone is valued at $60 billion annually and contributes 35% of world trade value. Those figures reflect the significant impact one segment of the transportation industry has on the movement of products to market.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates both job and output growth in the transportation industry between 2004 and 2014 will lead to more than 900,000 jobs. Truck drivers are expected to comprise about two-fifths of those positions. Given the shortages currently facing the trucking industry, opportunity is ripe for job seekers hoping to land employment in the transportation sector. More positions will become available as the current workforce ages, which presents immediate opportunities for younger workers to help employers meet industry needs and drive supply chain success. Rest assured, while the transportation industry expands, businesses grow, consumers spend and the wheels of prosperity keep on turning.
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