The growth of e-commerce over the past decade has been nothing short of spectacular. Data shows that in 1999, e-commerce sales accounted for only 1% of total retail sales in the country. By 2017, it had increased to more than 9%.
Over the past year or so, e-commerce sales have skyrocketed to unprecedented proportions – owing to the Covid-19 or Wuhan virus crisis. The number of people who shop online has never been higher before and it is only expected to increase in the coming days.
The astronomical growth in e-commerce sales has had a huge impact on the trucking industry, which forms the nerve center of the e-commerce supply chain network.
Impact of E-Commerce on the Trucking Industry
To ensure faster deliveries for their customers, retailers are decentralizing their distributions networks and are trying to bring their inventories as close to their customer base as possible. As a result, the average trip length for truck drivers in the e-commerce network has reduced significantly, but the number of intra-regional trips and last-mile trips has increased to a considerable extent.
The increase in e-commerce sales has resulted in an increase in demand for owner-operated trucks as well. It has, in turn, resulted in an increase in demand for young and skilled drivers. The trucking industry has always been one of the largest employment generators in the country – especially for non-college educated males. It has become even more of a lucrative career opportunity for young men, thanks to the proliferation in e-commerce sales.
The decline in average trip length, in particular, is appealing to many young drivers, as they can afford to spend less time on the road and more time with their family, which is not the case with long haul trucking.
The trucking industry – for its part – has responded to the increased demand by becoming more efficient. More and more trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices, driver assist systems, forward-looking camera systems, and other technologies that can reduce the risk of collisions to a significant extent.
At the same time, the impact of e-commerce on the trucking industry has not been entirely positive, as you can imagine. The gigantic rise of e-commerce has led to certain challenges in the trucking industry as well.
How E-commerce Growth Affects the Trucking Industry
E-commerce has always been a tremendously competitive environment, but it is more competitive now than ever before, as retailers are trying to outdo each other by offering better service and faster deliveries. Same-day delivery, one-day delivery, and two-day delivery are the norm for a vast majority of products that are ordered online – regardless of where you live in the country.
As a result, drivers are expected to comply with faster turnaround times than ever before. The pressure to meet shipping deadlines can put truck drivers under enormous pressure, as a result of which they might become prone to making mistakes that they otherwise might not make. The constant pressure to race ahead of time can also lead to fatigued driving, which is one of the most common causes of truck accidents in the country today.
Trucking companies might ignore or actively flout hours-of-service regulations in order to stay ahead of their competition. Truck drivers might also be tempted to break traffic rules in order to meet their deadlines, which can be disastrous for other motorists and pedestrians who share the road with them.
Sharing the Road with Trucks: What You Need to Know
Given below are some of the rules you need to follow while sharing the road with commercial trucks:
- Never get into the blind spot of a truck.
- Never, ever try to cut off a truck.
- Do not try to tailgate a truck.
- If you want to pass a truck, make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror and signal clearly so that the driver knows that you are trying to pass them.
- Do not try to squeeze your way through while a truck is trying to make a turn.
Despite your best efforts, accidents might still happen – often through no fault of your own. If you are injured by a commercial truck driver, it’s crucial to contact a committed Georgia truck accident attorney right away, so that you can sue the driver and the trucking company if necessary and recover the compensation you are entitled to.
Injured by a Truck Driver? Our Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help!
At Stein & Fox, we know how devastating a truck accident can be. Over the last 40 years, we have represented several truck accident victims in Morrow, Georgia and helped them get the compensation they deserve.
We can investigate your case carefully, collect all the evidence needed to establish the liability of the driver as well as the trucking company, and fight hard to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries as well as other losses.
To discuss your trucking accident claim with one of our attorneys, call us today at 770-961-1700 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.