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September 3, 2013

What does the future of trucking look like?

During the Panel of 21st Century Freight Transportation last year, lawmakers gathered to discuss ways to help the truck industry across the nation.

The panel issued a recommendation to “Direct the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of the Army and the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to establish a comprehensive national freight transportation policy and designate a national, multimodal freight network,” reports TheTrucker.com. Recommendations to “Ensure robust public investment in all modes of transportation on which freight movement relies, and incentivize additional private investment in freight transportation facilities, to maintain and improve the condition and performance of the freight transportation network,” were also made by the panel.

The future of trucking may mean more challenges for the nation’s infrastructure. One example of this issue can be found in south Texas, which has exploded with growth caused by an oil drilling boom.

“Around the region, drivers must now navigate around and across yawning potholes, cracked asphalt and splintering shoulders,” reported the New York Times. The New York Times article explored the commercial trucking industry in Texas, and the burden of crumbling roads that need repair. The article said that John Barton, deputy executive director of the department of transportation in Texas, said his agency “lacked the funds to maintain some of the roads as asphalt” and that “repaved roads that would typically last a decade are wearing away in three to four years.”

“We have to maintain these roadways to an acceptable standard,” Barton told the Times. “The difficult part is we have to consider all options of what we can do with the resources that we have.”

Trucking officials are asking lawmakers to make road improvements more of a priority. The future of trucking means shipments of more manufactured goods. The news of increased factory production can mean positive things for the commercial truck industry.