By Esteban Guerra, Brownsville Navigation District Chairman
Dear friends of the Port of Brownsville, it is my honor to invite our communities to join the Brownsville Navigation District as we proudly celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, from September 11- 17, 2022. This week, we recognize our highway heroes and their contributions to help keep commerce moving.
In the last two years, the challenges brought by COVID-19 have renewed our appreciation for our professional drivers who keep our economies and households running. Their commitment to safety and dependability ensures our quality of life remains intact – even during a global pandemic.
Truck drivers are a vital part of our economy, they transport the goods we need and the products that keep our businesses, schools, and hospitals open. As essential workers, trucking’s 3.6 million professional drivers haul more than 10 billion tons of freight every year, which accounts for 70% of total U.S. freight tonnage. It is difficult to imagine our society without truck drivers delivering our vital goods the way they do. More than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to deliver their freight.
In 2020, there were 3.36 million truck drivers employed throughout the United States and 7.65 million people employed in jobs related to trucking activity.
Professional truck drivers contribute to the Port of Brownsville’s intermodal connectivity, allowing local businesses to reach their target markets with ease. The logistical capabilities of our regional port attract domestic and international businesses bringing good-paying jobs and opportunities for our families.
The Port of Brownsville is on the rise as our existing tenants are expanding to meet growing demand and new business interests are looking to us to establish their ventures. Certainly, truck drivers remain an integral part of our plans as we look to expand our port’s infrastructure to accommodate the movement of increased cargo loads to support diverse industries across North America and beyond.
Throughout 2021, the Port of Brownsville registered 438,000 truck movements representing an average of 1,200 truck movements per day. These truck drivers are tasked with the transportation of essential cargo like steel, wind energy components, refined petroleum products, grains, cement, and other commodities to support the economic resiliency of our region and state.
As the leading economic engine of the Rio Grande Valley, the Port of Brownsville is a strong link in the supply chain for the region, thanks in part to the indelible impact of truck drivers working to ensure the safe and secure delivery of goods.
The next time you walk down the grocery aisle and select your family’s favorite foods, pump gasoline in your vehicle, or shop for clothing, household appliances or furniture, remember that those items were delivered by a hard-working truck driver.
Throughout National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, I encourage you to take time to honor professional truck drivers for their invaluable effort and commitment to one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. If you see them on the road, express your appreciation with a friendly wave or the traditional honking sign.
Our most sincere thanks to America’s professional truck drivers, who truly move our great country forward.