Report underscores trucking's essential role in U.S. economy

A new report issued by American Trucking Associations, ATA American Trucking Trends 2013, demonstrated that trucking continues to be the dominant mode of freight transportation.

"Good data is important to good policymaking," said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. "And the data in Trendsshows a dynamic, growing industry that is the literal lifeblood of the U.S. economy."

Among the findings in this year's edition of Trends:

  • Trucks moved 9.4 billion tons of freight in 2012 or 68.5 percent of all domestic shipments. Both figures are up from the previous year.
  • In 2012, trucking generated $642.1 billion in gross freight-related revenues or 80.7 percent% of the nation's freight bills, an increase from 2011.
  • There are 6.9 million people employed in trucking-related industries.
  • The majority of trucking companies are small businesses, with 90.5 percent operating six or fewer trucks. Only 2.8 percent of fleets operate more than 20 trucks.
  • Class 6-8 trucks traveled 137.2 billion miles in 2011 – up 4.7% from the previous year.
  • The trucking industry paid $36.5 billion in federal and state highway user fees and taxes in 2011 – a 10.3 percent increase from 2009.

"As the nation continues to travel the road to recovery following the Great Recession it is becoming increasingly clear that trucking is leading the way," said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. "The data in Trends should provide a road map for policy makers and business leaders as they continue to plot the course of that recovery."