CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Northern Nevada Development Authority was told June 27 the trucking industry is “the glue” that holds the economy together.
“Trucks drive the economy,” said Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association. “We are the glue that keeps everything together.”
Enos told those at NNDA’s monthly meeting in the Carson Nugget that, especially in Nevada, “ultimately, most everything we have has to come on a truck.”
Nationwide, he said 70 percent of goods arrive by truck.
“In Nevada, we’re a little higher than that because we don’t have the Mississippi River, don’t have an extensive rail system,” Enos said.
In Nevada, he said 92 percent of goods are moved by trucks.
But the relationship goes both ways.
“We only do well when all the other sectors of the economy do well,” he said.
Enos said in Nevada, the trucking industry is dominated by small businesses. Of the 3,320 trucking companies, 90 percent operate fewer than 10 trucks.
He said the golden age of the trucking industry took off when the federal government deregulated the industry in 1980 — a bill he said was authored by Nevada’s U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon and signed by President Jimmy Carter.
With deregulation, Enos said retailers and manufacturers no longer had to have a huge plant to keep a large inventory on hand. After deregulation, he said truckers were able to bring businesses products and materials as needed in a day or so.
That, he said, greatly reduced costs for retailers, manufacturers and other businesses since they no longer had to maintain huge inventories.
Enos said the industry is especially important in Nevada because, “we are geographically blessed.” The reason, he said, Nevada is a one day drive from just about 95 percent of west coast locations.
As a result, he said major trucking companies are among the companies located in Nevada.
The biggest problem the industry has, he said, is finding drivers.
‘We are always trying to find new drivers,” he said.
But even as automation and self-driving vehicles are being developed, he predicted that there will always be a driver in the big trucks on U.S. roads.
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