the replacement of truckers is inevitable. It is not a matter of “if”, it’s only a matter of “when.” So the question then becomes, how long until millions of truckers are freshly unemployed and what happens to them and all the rest of us as a result?…
According to the American Trucker Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US, and an additional 5.2 million people employed within the truck-driving industry who don’t drive the trucks. That’s 8.2 million trucking-related jobs.
We can’t stop there though, because the incomes received by these 8.2 million people create the jobs of others. Those 3.5 million truck drivers driving all over the country stop regularly to eat, drink, rest, and sleep. Entire businesses have been built around serving their wants and needs. Think restaurants and motels as just two examples.
I read this and think a few things:
1. Wow, stuff delivered by truck is about to get a WHOLE lot cheaper.
2. Rail is going to take a beating. Berkshire’s investment in rail looks bad.
3. Commercial auto insurers will be the first to suffer the coming Armageddon of auto insurance that many of my clients worry about. I’ll have more on this eventually.
4. What about roadside service centers that are so crucial for road trips?
5. I wonder, on the theme of the article but in a slightly different spirit, what the economy is going to do with all those people. Time to read more Tyler Cowen.