Why Local Business Matters in the Trucking Industry
One could call the “local versus big box” topic a cliché at this point. Unfortunately, when people are repetitively told something, they tend to tune out the advice—no matter how sound it may be. A recent (NLSN: NYSE) study found buying local is a top priority among 46% of American consumers. However, Big box stores tend to have the advantage where most local business can’t compete.
More locations, means easier access and convenience, especially when traveling across the state or country. Price is often the biggest factor when choosing where to shop. Big-box stores offer their most attractive discounts on big-ticket items, undercutting specialty stores and smaller retailers on price. This immediate need to mind one’s budget often overshadows the big picture.
Mom-and-pop operations than big-box counterparts in the same community. For every $10 million spent on local business creates 57 jobs. That same amount being spent at Amazon . Combine those numbers with generally superior customer service, improved sustainability, and a more diverse selection of products, it becomes quite clear why buying local matters.
Where Does the Trucking Industry fit Into the Local Economy?
The trucking industry consists of organizations and employees that possess budgets and incomes that are invested in products and services. Whether someone drives commercial trucks or a company employs a fleet of drivers, they impact the overall economy. Meaning that these individuals and organizations can play their part in enhancing the local marketplaces on a larger scale and often, all over the country.
How Can Truck Driving Employees Make an Impact?
Probably the most immediate and distinct way that these individuals can beef up the local economy is eating locally. Of course, that doesn’t only extend to a driver’s own hometown. If on the road, consciously seeking out locally owned options for rest-stops and dining can pay tremendous dividends for the local economy.
Stocking up before setting out means helping to bolster your own local businesses hundreds of miles away. With many OTR trucks having refrigerators installed, it’s easier than ever to buy locally while at home and take it out on the open road.
How Can Independent Drivers (or Small Business Owners) Help Improve the Local Economy?
Independent contractors likely have the most ability to make a significant impact on local markets for several reasons.
First and foremost, how an independent driver operates is up to them. So, right off the bat, if there’s a need for leasing, renting, or buying a new 18-wheeler, deciding on a local choice can prove fruitful.
There’s also the ability to solely work alongside and transport products FOR small business owners, harnessing the relationships that help local economies thrive. These connections can prove invaluable for an independent driver since thriving local businesses often hire others like them to perform support tasks. Or, relevantly to truck drivers, these owners will help with providing raw materials and resources.
This “local first” kind of thinking helps bolster tightly-knit networks where everyone wants to contribute to their neighbor’s success. It harnesses an ecosystem that sustains itself through this high level of support.
Where do Larger Trucking Companies Fit into Local Economies?
Large trucking businesses can continue growing and expanding without placing local shops, markets, and economies in the rear-view mirror. It could be something as simple as offering favorable rates or placing orders for goods and services with small, local business owners.
It’s also worth mentioning how locally sourcing items and products has the added advantage of sustainability and convenience. When expansive trucking corporations need parts, choosing a nearby source will limit emissions on top of boosting the local economy.
Another idea is to create a fund for local business owners in the surrounding area. Depending on the size and number of offices owned by a given corporation, this can occur on a location-by-location basis.
While it might not immediately serve these franchise-based organizations to think locally, doing so benefits everybody in the long run. Every person has a hometown and wants to see it thrive. Taking pains to give back to these economies will only serve the greater good.
It’s Up to Us to Keep the Local Economy Alive
Whether they’re independent contractors, employees, or they’ve risen up in an organization, truck drivers can consider their potential impact on where their money is being spent and how it impacts local economies, businesses, and families. After all, transportation makes the world go round, and that’s doubly true for smaller markets.