What is one major benefit of a truck driver shortage: an increase in rail freight. As e-commerce evolves into the main outlet for consumers to purchase goods, the shipping industry is adjusting to the increase in demand. Traditionally, locomotives were used to transport coal and agriculture in bulk. With large capacity and reliable transportation, experts are optimistic that trains could support the U.S. economy and be the solution to a high demand in the trucking industry.
Trains could be seen as a short-term solution to the high demand in the trucking industry until a sufficient number of drivers can be recruited. According to Logistics Management, the trucking industry is investing heavily in electric powertrains, telematics and fully and semi-autonomous trucks, which will result in more sustainability in the supply chain. Until these technologies are ready to be implemented, rail freight is a viable option for transporting large items across the country.
Rail freight has the ability to transport hundreds of shipping containers at a time. In comparison to the truck industry, where there is one driver transporting one shipping container, the capacity of trains is far larger than trucks. According to the American Trucking Associations, the United States is experiencing a shortage of over 51,000 drivers. By increasing the use of rail freight, more cargo can be shipped under the supervision of one train operator.
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