History of Freight Shipping

Throughout history, one of the most crucial things to the advancement of civilization has been transportation — transportation of people, transportation of ideas, and transformation of goods. One early development in the history of shipping was the domestication of horses in approximately 4,000 BCE. Since then, we have come a very long way.

Today, we have a global transportation network capable of reaching anyone in the world with same day shipping. Yet, let’s not take this situation for granted. This system relies heavily on freight shipping — in other words, truck drivers — to function affordably and practically. Coming out of this long history and being so essential in terms of providing civilization a necessary service, Freight All Kinds is proud to have been successfully working as one of America’s top-rated transport brokers for over 30 years. We offer a wide variety of customizable freight management solutions throughout the United States and Canada. We are able to work with you and your company to create a custom shipping strategy that works best for your business. If you are in need of freight shipping and would like to hire our carriers, then reach out now and request a free quote!

A Brief Timeline of Freight Shipping

The freight solutions offered by Freight All Kinds are robust, but that’s because we represent the culmination of millenia of trial and error and technological advancement in transportation. When you look back at how far we’ve come, you may look at freight shipping in a new light.

The Early Years of Freight Shipping

Of course, trucks have only existed since the early years of the 20th century. The early days of transportation were quite modest.

  • 4,000 BCE — Around this time, horses were domesticated and used for transportation.
  • 3,200 BCE — Wheeled vehicles are first invented, allowing for the creation of carts and other carrier improvements
  • 770 CE — Iron horseshoes are invented, dramatically improving the efficiency of horses. Also around this time the horse-drawn carriage becomes more popular, despite how slow and dangerous they could be
  • 1787 — The steamboat is invented
  • 1807 — Railroads and canal systems begin to be built around the world
  • The 1820s — The railroad system monopolizes the freight industry
  • 1869 — The 3,500 mile long Transcontinental Railroad is completed, connecting California to Chicago.

The exchange of goods from one country to another has been happening for thousands of years, yet it was only after the Industrial Revolution and the creation of the combustion engine that the possibility of high speed, mass-transport systems arose.

20th Century & Beyond

  • Early 1900s — The automobile becomes popular among people in cities (though only are affordable for the wealthy)
  • 1935 — The Motor Carrier Act is passed, which adds regulations to the trucking industry, like restricting the number of hours a trucker drives and adding new rules and regulations for freight shipping companies. The road infrastructure at this time is also advancing with the increasing demand
  • 1950 — Roughly 173 billion ton-miles of commercial intercity freight is now being transported by truck
  • 1956 — The Interstate Highway System is passed, which adds 41,000 miles of new highways around the country. This increased the effectiveness of larger trucks to carry freight around the country on faster schedules
  • 1970 — Up ‘til now, freight trucking has only been transporting about 1% of the overall goods in the US. By 1970 that was up to about 25%
  • The 1980s — During the 1980s, freight trucking increased rapidly, nearly doubling in ton-miles
  • 1983 — Freight All Kinds, Inc. is founded by Ralph Lemberg
  • The 1990s — The 1990s saw sweeping deregulation in the trucking industry, which increased the number of interstate motor carriers from 18,000 in 1975 to over 500,000 in the US by the year 2000.
  • 2001 — Ralph Lemberg passes away and his daughter, Bobbye Marcove, takes over the company
  • The 2000s — Massive upheavals in shipping occurred in the 2000s due to increased globalization, the rise of door-to-door shipping, and other technological developments.
  • 2020 — Today, we have the world at our fingertips. It’s easy to get what we want from anywhere, and freight shipping with truck drivers is responsible for the greatest amount of U.S. freight by weight in its history.

The Future of Freight Shipping

As retail and other services increasingly move online to meet customer demands, we are likely to see a significant growth of freight shipping throughout the country. The freight tonnage moved by trucks is predicted to continue to grow by roughly 27 percent by 2027. There are a few developments that are expected to occur in the near future:

Increased Digitization

The transformation of inventory management through further digitization will help streamline the process and is vital for freight shipping companies like ours to leverage to stay ahead of the curve. Alongside digitization is the use of more robust data analytics, with real-time implementation and optimization, so we are better capable of meeting consumer demand.

Automation

Manufacturing as well as transportation are increasingly becoming automated around the world. Some people are worried that automation will make the truck driver obsolete, but this is not true at all. There will likely be a decreased demand, but people don’t realize that truck drivers do more than just drive trucks. Drivers are also responsible for:

  • Checking vehicles
  • Securing cargo
  • Maintaining logs
  • Providing quality customer service

Most of these tasks are nowhere close to being automated. These essential jobs are not at risk. What’s more, the media may have you believing that self-driving cars are in our immediate future, however, in reality we are nowhere close to the implementation of full-automation. Lastly, the companies that are developing automation for freight shipping are focused primarily on long-haul/interstate trucking, not on trips shorter than 50 miles. This will likely have an impact on jobs, but not anywhere close to as large as the media often makes out.

So if you are thinking about getting into the freight industry for your career, don’t feel like it’s not worth it because it will be obsolete in a few years. This is absolutely not the case. If you’re looking for a rewarding career with lots of opportunities for advancement, the freight industry might actually be just what you’re looking for. Learn more about the freight careers our freight management company can offer, get to know our freight company, or contact Freight All Kinds to answer any questions you may have.

Freight Shipping & You

No matter where you are or what you do, freight shipping has a massive impact on your life. Pretty much everything you buy as a consumer and all the products and material that go into a business is brought to you by the freight shipping process. In the high-volume, high-demand jungle that is the modern shipping industry, Freight All Kinds is always looking out for the new, highest quality route for taking our business to the next level.

If you want to join our company, we are always looking for motivated, focused drivers and other freight jobs like logistic brokers and shipping agent jobs. If you are an individual looking to start your freight career or a company looking for customized freight shipping solutions, contact us now and request a free quote. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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