While many complain about increased truck traffic in New York City, rather than blaming the trucking industry they should look at their own shopping habits. Every purchase made online has to be delivered. The e-commerce industry has doubled over the last five years to around $350 billion (according to the New York Times).
With any product imaginable just one click away the convenience afforded by e-commerce has evolved into a battle over rush delivery. Established carriers like UPS, FedEx, and the Post Office are busier than ever. Specialty providers like Fresh Direct and Peapod have quickly established themselves.
Claiming that overnight delivery isn’t fast enough, established e-commerce companies like Amazon and Google and startups like Postmates or UberExpress battle for delivery within a few hours of a customer placing an order. There is more to this than just a convenience factor. With Americans working longer hours and juggling various personal responsibilities, more people are waiting till the last minute to buy essential goods. Customers don’t want to wait long for these goods to be delivered.
Unsurprisingly, this means there are more and more trucks on the road. Now, trucks have to make multiple trips with fewer items, rather than one trip with lots of items. This is not a creation of the trucking industry this is an economic response to consumer purchasing decisions. People may want trucks off the road but does that mean they will happily accept next day, or two day delivery on their purchases? Proposals to shift deliveries to late night/early morning only is not a viable response to consumer buying habits. Trucks do not create demand, they respond to it. Those who want to limit truck traffic ought to follow the cargo not the truck.