Image for Celebrating Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month: From One Truck to an organization serving 20,000+ truckers 

Celebrating Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month: From One Truck to an organization serving 20,000+ truckers 

Kim Diggs

May 31, 2023

In celebration of Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage month, we’d like to highlight Raman Dhillon, founder of an organization helping more than 100,000 truckers – the North American Punjabi Trucking Association (NAPTA). 

Punjab is a region spanning Northwestern India and Eastern Pakistan that is unified by culture, language, history and more.  

The Growing Punjabi Trucking Community 

According to the Sikh Political Action Committee, there are more than 150,000 Sikhs in trucking nationwide. Sikhism is an ancient Indian religion originated in Punjab. Though there are many Punjabi Sikhs, not all people from the region are Sikhs. So, the number of Punjabi people in trucking may far exceed 150,000.  

In the state of California alone, there are more than 74,000 Punjabi drivers, according to NAPTA. 

Separating trucking regulation myth from fact  

The origin story of NAPTA begins at the truck stop. Dhillon had a family run trucking company in the early aughts and remembers getting fed tons of misinformation from other truckers about new regulations. He affectionately calls them “truck stop lawyers.” He felt he’d found the root of the misinformation spreading within the Punjabi trucking community and wanted to combat it.

That’s what led to the launch of Punjabi Trucking Magazine, a bilingual (English and Punjabi) media arm dedicated to sharing the facts about the state of the industry and regulation updates. Launching in 2013, its bimonthly offering and website receive more than 150,000 unique visitors per month.   

The success of the magazine solidified the need for an organization focused on education and advocacy of the Punjabi trucking community.

Starting NAPTA to support the trucking industry  

In 2018, Dhillon received investment from six friends to launch NAPTA, an organization empowering Punjabi truckers through access to discounted services, equipment and vital information. In the early days, 20 companies signed up for membership. Today, there are more than 2,200 member companies and many more that visit the site to stay abreast of industry news and regulation updates.  

The expansion of NAPTA’s reach 

Today, the organization is incorporating podcasting as one of the central means of sharing news and driving vital conversations with business owners within the Punjabi community, administrators and more. Dhillon has also cited TikTok and Instagram as platforms that have grown rapidly, with more than 10,000 followers on each since starting them up a short time ago.  

While the organization was founded to support the needs of the Punjabi trucking community, Dhillon expressed that it is open to anyone within the industry wanting to join.