Trucking Facts: Looking to the Future


Did you know, if you combined all of the cargo delivered by diesel trucks last year, you would create a chain that would run from the Earth to the Moon over eleven times?

The above is one of several statistics published in the American Trucking Association (ATA)s American Trucking Trends. American Trucking Trends is the ATAs almanac, which is released every year for those in the business of trucking and freight transportation.

Bill Graves, President and CEO of ATA, comments this report shows once again what a critical role trucking plays in the U.S. economy. Trucking continues to move the most, and most valuable, freight in the United States despite the challenges of congestion, regulations and crumbling infrastructure.


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Trends in the Trucking Industry:

Here is more information on trucking and freight transportation from the ATAs American Trucking Trends:

  1. Trucks moved 11.49 billion tons of freight in 2018. This accounts for over 71% of the total tonnage of freight in the nation.
  2. Revenue in America that comes from trucking was reported as $796.7 billion in 2018. This represents an increase of 14% from the revenue in 2017.
  3. Freight trucking has also increased across borders. Total trucking freight between the U.S. and Canada has increased up to 3.6%. Total trucking freight between the U.S. and Mexico is up over 10%.
  4. The trucking industry was able to create approximately 100,000 jobs in 2018.
  5. Small companies make up a large portion of the trucking industry. 97.4% of fleets have 20 trucks or fewer with 91.3% of fleets only having 6 trucks or fewer.

Trucking and the Environment:

Trucking engines have made great improvements in becoming more environmentally-friendly since 2003.

These engines have seen an 88% drop in sulfur dioxide emissions, as well as a 48% decline in nitrogen oxide emission and a drop of 32% in particulate matter.

America's Highways:

Graves also stressed the importance of maintaining Americas highways, stating that It is fitting this report is being released at the start of Infrastructure Week. Our industrys growth in the face of continued road and bridge deterioration has been amazing, but it is time for our elected leaders to do their part to ensure that the highways we use to move Americas goods safely and efficiently are in good condition.

Infrastructure Week was established with the intention of finding ways to bring an outdated transportation network into modern day, by bringing together a wide variety of business groups and organized laborers. It coincides with Congress progress on a new bill for surface transportation funding.

Originally Posted June 6, 2014; Edited February 6, 2020

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