What You’ll Learn

As you read about the importance of the trucking industry in Phoenix, AZ, and throughout the valley, you’ll learn:

    • Trucking companies from Phoenix have had routes to the Port of Long Beach in California for 70 years.
    • Dedicated drivers who go from Maricopa County to Long Beach and back can be home four nights per week.
    • The thriving trucking industry in Phoenix has created a lot of great jobs for experienced truck drivers.

Trucking Companies in Phoenix

The trucking industry in Arizona has become very strong thanks in large part to Highway I-10 West, which creates a relatively flat, straight, direct route to the Los Angeles area. Having such a strong connection to one of the largest cities in the world has been great for Phoenix and the West Valley, as it makes it easier to ship goods to and from our community. As Phoenix becomes known as an excellent hub for distribution centers in the Western United States, there has also been a great deal of job growth in the area. 

California is one of the states with the most trucking jobs, so becoming more affiliated with their trucking industry has also helped propel job growth here in Arizona. In fact, those in the trucking industry have started to regard Arizona as the gateway to California. Some experienced truckers might even talk about how Phoenix and Tucson provide an important junction along the “Mother Road,” or Route 66. Just as Route 66 was important to migrants who moved west in the 1930s, it continues to be important for the United States transportation industry today.

Depending on which type of route you have, many other supply chains may also go through Arizona to reach the rest of the West Coast or even Mexico. Highways I-40, I-10, I-8, I-19, I-17, and other interstates all play important roles in Arizona’s trucking industry. Here at Duncan and Son Lines, though, we’re mostly focused on the route to the Port of Long Beach in Southern California, which is appealing to experienced truckers who want a consistent intermodal truck driving route.

Arizona is also regarded as a state that offers excellent job security for truck drivers. The state is rich in resources, and it has established industries including military manufacturing and technology. That means there are plenty of different things produced here in Arizona, and many of them need to be shipped out to California to be used or exported to other places. All of this helps protect the freight industry and trucking jobs in Arizona even as the national economy experiences low points. 

The Future of the Trucking Industry

Truck drivers have an extremely important job, which means there will continue to be a lot of demand for what they do. Some people might worry about job security because of new modes of transportation, but the 2020 U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast suggests that the industry will only continue to thrive. In fact, the report predicts a 36% growth in freight volume over the course of the next 11 years. This is huge news for the trucking industry, those who already work in it, and all of those who want to become Class A Drivers.

Has COVID-19 Hurt the Trucking Industry?

The volume of freight transportation in the United States increased by 1.4% in 2019, but it did experience some significant setbacks in 2020. Throughout the entire United States, job loss hit an all-time high in 2020, and the trucking industry wasn’t spared from this. Estimates suggest that the trucking industry lost more than 88,000 jobs in April of 2020 alone, which rattled the industry. The negative effects on the trucking industry were primarily caused by two things:

    • Supply Chain Disruptions – Consumer behavior changed during the pandemic, as did the supply chain at large. Because of the disruptions and sudden changes to purchasing patterns, there were unpredicted consequences that rippled through the trucking industry.
    • Fear of Infection – Given the nature of a global pandemic and the sense of fear that goes along with it, it suddenly became scary to think about someone driving thousands of miles and interacting with many others along the way. Fear of spreading infection brought some trucking operations to a grinding halt, especially if they were deemed nonessential.

However, freight trucking operations are the backbone of many supply chains in this nation, and they couldn’t be left on pause for very long. The CDC came up with guidelines for the trucking industry to help operations resume safely. As people started to adjust to life during a pandemic, trucking companies found ways to resume their business as well as they could. The focus was heavily on keeping people safe, protecting drivers (both financially and physically), and keeping up with the work businesses and individuals count on.

Not all of the long-term effects of the coronavirus on the trucking industry in the United States have been negative. For example, the normalization of contactless delivery and other efficient processes will likely have a positive effect on the trucking industry for many years. Billing, delivery, and communication processes have all been refined to eliminate unnecessary contact and paper. 

At the time, this was done to prevent infection and keep people safe. As we proceed into the future, however, people will likely continue to use the new processes because of how efficient and helpful they are. Drivers can now expect to have quicker interactions with other stakeholders and get back onto the road sooner. Inefficient paperwork and communication have often caused unnecessary headaches for drivers in the past, so hopefully, there will be less of that going forward.

Trucking Jobs in 2021

Despite the setback that occurred in early 2020, the trucking industry actually had a surprisingly strong year overall as people relied on drivers to keep the economy moving during the pandemic. Industry experts seem optimistic that 2021 will be an even better year as the nation starts to recover from the pandemic. Economists who specialize in trucking have noted that trucking will continue to benefit as other industries bounce back. 

For example, once the manufacturing and services industries start to bounce back, they’ll need more supplies, which means there’s more demand for truck drivers. This will be great for the trucking industry in Phoenix, and it will also benefit residents of Maricopa County who want to get excellent jobs in trucking. As demand rises in the coming year, experienced drivers in the valley will be able to find desirable trucking jobs that pay well.

Best Trucking Jobs near Phoenix, AZ

Here at Duncan and Son Lines, we’ve been a trusted name in the Arizona trucking industry since 1943. In that time, we’ve become the largest intermodal and drayage carriers in the state. Since we’ve been working at the Port of Long Beach for 70 years, our established business allows us to focus on providing dedicated drivers for the route from Arizona to Long Beach and back. This also benefits our drivers, who can be home four nights per week. If you’re an experienced driver who is interested in finding consistent work and a balanced lifestyle, contact us today to learn more.

Featured Image: Ungvar/Shutterstock

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