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The History and FUTURE of Trucking

August 8, 2022

The transportation industry is constantly evolving and growing. It is one of the most adaptable, innovative, and vital industries in the country! Take a look at the advances throughout history and what may be around the corner for this industry.

Commercial trucking industry started

Commercial trucking industry started

While the late 1800s saw some of the first wagons being outfitted for transporting goods with a modified car engine, the company that would become Mack Trucks was founded in 1900.


American Trucking Association formed

American Trucking Association formed

This organization became the leading advocate for truck drivers. It was founded when the American Highway Freight Association and the Federation Trucking Associations of America merged in 1933. They would go on to become a leading voice in promoting and advancing the trucking industry.


Refrigerated containers and trucking

Refrigerated containers change how Americans can live and eat

Prior to this invention, truckers were packing cold shipments in ice which limited the distribution of cold products. Drivers would have to constantly restock ice along their journey. A lot of freight was lost this way. Fred Jones was a mechanic and engineer who invented a way to power a refrigerated trailer with a four-cylinder gas engine. It even had an integrated thermostat.


CB Radio invention helps trucking industry

CB radio invented!

Inventor Al Gross invented the walkie-talkie in 1938 and then invented the Citizens’ Band (CB) radio in 1948. Gross’ technology was important in the communications during World War II and in 1948 the FCC allocated the first frequency for personal radio service. At first the units were used with farmers and the U.S. Coast Guard but became an important communication tool among truckers.


Three-point safety belt invention in 1959

Three-point seat belt invention saves lives

A Volvo engineer names Nils Bohlin invented the three-point safety belt in 1959. While there were already two-point seat belts, they left passengers vulnerable to head and chest injuries during a crash. It still took years to convince people to actually use the seat belts and Volvo freely shared the safety data and the patent with all so they could expedite their widespread use.

Fleet Monitoring Technology

Introduction of fleet monitoring technology

The adoption and evolving of telematics in tracking and monitoring freight made a big impact on the industry. In 1988 Qualcomm Inc. introduced a vehicle communications and tracking system using wireless data technology. This lead to decades of evolving technologies that allow shippers to track the location and status of their trailers and containers.


Employees of trucking companies

Millions of truck drivers

By 2020 there were an estimated 3.36 million truck drivers employed in the U.S. The average U.S. driver is 48 years old and made up of a mix of independent owner-operators as well as employees of trucking companies.

Transportation industry is top of mind

Transportation industry is top of mind

More and more people outside of the industry are aware now of the importance of the transportation industry after years of supply chain disruptions being highlighted in the media. We are made up of a hard-working and adaptable group who manage through any hardships and keep trucking!

The growth in our industry hasn’t come to the end of the road. We see a lot of advancements being implemented now and in the near future.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology being more commonplace

At Simple Logistics we already utilize some AI automated processes which allow our current team to elevate to new roles, take on more responsibility, and be more effective in their daily activities. We see this as a trend that is already starting to take hold with companies who want to be ahead of the curve in adopting technology. Automation will never be able to replace our people and their experience, but it can optimize a business and reduce mistakes.

Drone Delivery ServiceDrone delivery service more common for short-haul

There are some interesting uses for this already happening for delivery of medications over short distances. It will be interesting to see how this technology advances and what kind of weight limitations there will be.

Driverless vehicles or routes

While some testing is already happening in this area, there are also a lot of legal issues to be worked out in order for this to become commonplace.

Electric Vehicles for commercial use

The technology exists but we aren’t at a point where it would be efficient or make sense to use this yet.


Whatever is ahead, you want to partner with a 3PL who is adapting and bringing the best service and tools to you. Simple Logistics is committed to staying on top of industry changes and bringing innovative solutions to you.



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