Lesson 1: Introduction to Trucking 101

A collage of Wellington Motor Freight trucking equipment, including, reefers, dry vans, sprinter vans, and straight trucks.

If you have freight to ship within North America, it's more than likely that a truck will move it. The American Trucking Association says the nation's roughly 4 million large trucks move 72.5 percent of US freight1. With such a large volume of freight moving by truck, it's clear that anyone moving freight would benefit from knowing a little bit more about how the trucking industry really works.

An infographic describing the amount of freight volume and freight carries in the United Stated.

Not only is the volume of freight moving by truck so high, but the industry and market can be incredibly confusing. There are over 900,000 for-hire trucking firms licensed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and over 90 percent operate six or fewer trucks2. To navigate this wide variety of motor carriers - each with their own rates, niches, regulatory requirements, and more, - shippers often find themselves with logistics experts on their team, or working with freight brokerages, or even just trying to manage solo. The bottom line, if you're working with trucking, you're probably working with logistics professionals, and if you're working with logistics professionals, you need a quick lesson in trucking 101!

Our goal in Trucking 101 is to introduce those with limited to no experience in the trucking industry to the basics, and better inform them (you!) to work within the industry and alongside other industry professionals. In our first set of lessons, we will review common trucking services such as Full Truckload (FLT), Less than Truckload (LTL), the basics of temperature control freight, as well as 'dedicated' service providers, and the overarching connectivity trucking services have to the greater supply chain. In our next set of lessons for Trucking 101, we'll introduce you to topics such as brokerage operations & carrier operations, markets & economics, drivers & retention, regulatory requirements & safety, as well as industry advancement in technology.

Our intention is to make sure you exit our Trucking 101 lessons having found the information to be digestible, relevant, and helpful in supporting your knowledge as you navigate within the trucking industry.


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