Trucking Industry Recruitment:  Gearing Up for Summer Traffic as a Truck Driver

With Memorial Day 2024 just around the corner, the unofficial start of summer is here for the U.S.; this means that most kids will be out of school, and families are starting their summer vacations.  Whether they are planning short excursions to a local park or reserve or going on a long trip, many American families plan to be out on the open road.  This means that there will be more passenger cars sharing the highways and byways with the heavy duty trucks already running back and forth across the country.  Along with that, the summer months usually bring with them an uptick in the amount of freight being transported.  It is important that everyone remembers that being safe on the road with these trucks is necessary for everyone to get to their destinations safely and receive the goods they all both need and desire.  With that in mind, the LZBlog is discussing the current news concerning freight and traffic for the upcoming summer season.

Summer 2024: The State of Freight

The transportation industry is one that is well known to be in a constant state of flux.  Shipments from overseas that land in ports to be moved inland, the seasonal needs of retailers with summer apparel and outdoor accessories, the yearly cycle of produce growth, plus so much more can decide how many trucks are on the road at any given time.  For the summer, though, there is also the beginning of construction projects dealing with roads, homes, businesses, etc.  Overall, the late spring and early summer usually see a dramatic uptick in freight loads moving all over the U.S.

Back in March, FreightWaves held their “State of Freight” webinar, and, with the information they have collected over the year so far, they shared their predictions for the early summer months.  Already seeing an increase in freight loads in March, FreightWaves has said that they expect May to be a more traditional month for truckloads, with the amount of requests for pick ups to slowly grow over the month.  Compared to previous forecasts, when FreightWaves thought there would be a decline in freight loads due to the student loan forbearance causing ripples in the economy, May 2024 looks like it will be a more normal year for trucking.  FreightWaves says that events like student loan forgiveness and other government actions have put more money in the pockets of Americans, and, with that spending still on the rise among both businesses and consumers, trucking will continue to play an integral part in the summer season.

On top of more spending, FreightWaves also discussed the possibility of government interference in the form of tariffs.  In presidential campaign news, “Former U.S. President Donald Trump has said he would impose more tariffs on Chinese goods if he wins the election in November,” and that those new importation costs could be as much as 60% higher on products from across the Pacific.  In order to avoid any hypothetical tariff increases, China has already begun shipping freight to Mexico so that those goods can be brought up with other freight from the south.  FreightWaves’ SONAR Inbound Ocean Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit Volume Index “shows that imports from China to Mexico… have been increasing since 2019.”  It remains to be seen if the tariffs actually go up, or if Mexico will accept their position as the middle man between the U.S. and China, but the LZBlog is now monitoring these numbers to see how much more freight will be coming up from the south. 

“Summer Days, Drifting Away…”

Along with the increasing amount of freight on the road, it is also important to remember that there will be many more people on the roads this summer.  For that reason, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA) has completed its annual “blitz week,” which occurred just last weekend!  This annual event is when the CVSA teams up with local law enforcement officials to pull over and check heavy-duty trucks to ensure they are equipped with and using certain safety features.  For 2024, these stops have focused on seeing if semi-trucks have anti-lock braking systems and good cargo securement features, but officers are tasked with looking to make sure all parts of the truck are in good condition and full working order for the safety of all the vehicles around them. 

Memorial Day is just around the corner as well! While this holiday focuses on honoring and remembering fallen U.S. servicemen and women, it is also the unofficial start of the summer travel season.  Although the cost of transporting freight tends to go up during this time due to office and warehouse closings, there are still thousands of truck drivers who forego spending time with their families in order to make a little extra money by hauling goods during this time.  It is important as shippers and receivers to be aware of this and make sure that there is someone available to sign for and unload freight during this time.  Otherwise, truckers are forced to sit on the shipments and cannot get paid or go home. 


With the summer months finally here, there will be an increase in freight and traffic during the latter part of the month, and even well into June and July.  This is a dangerous time of year for truckers and passenger car drivers and occupants alike.  Just last month, released their updated figures for crashes in 2022, and, while there were no real surprises, the numbers are still dismal.  In 2022, 1,097 people occupying a large truck died in accidents, an 8.5% increase from 2021.  The number of people injured in crashes with heavy-duty trucks rose to over 160,000.  While there are lot of factors that control how many trucks are out on the road in the summer, it is important that all drivers on the road take care while travelling.  Passenger car drivers and truck drivers alike can protect each other while driving America’s highways and byways this summer!


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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