The Trucking Industry by the Numbers

By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW

Our industry is a unique one, we are subject to so many un-controllable factors in doing our jobs every day. From weather, coordination, logistics, traffic, and equipment, we all know that if it can go wrong, it will. Professional Drivers understand the difference we make in the nation’s economy, even if those we deliver for do not.

The following numbers have been updated as of June 2016, by the American Trucking Association.

·       Professional truck drivers drove over 279 billion miles in 2014, more than double 25 years ago, those miles accounted for 14.2% of all motor vehicle miles and 29.8% of all truck miles.

·       The trucking industry paid $39.9 billion in federal and state highway taxes in 2014, and represented 12.1 percent of vehicles on the road. The trucking industry paid $18.4 billion in federal highway-user taxes and $21.6 billion in state highway-user taxes in 2014.

·       The trucking industry consumed 54.3 billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline in 2015. Based on consumption and price, ATA reported that motor carriers spent $142.9 billion in 2015.

·       The federal fuel tax for diesel in 2015 is 24.4 cents per gallon; the average state tax for diesel fuel was 27.4 cents per gallon.

·       There are 3.63 million class 8 trucks on the road in the United States and 11.7 million commercial trailers were registered in 2015.

·       There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States. Total industry employment is 7.3 million or one out of every 16 people working in the United States.

·       There are 586,014 for-hire carriers and 747,791 private carriers in the United States; 97.3 percent of them have fewer than 20 trucks and 90.8 are operating six trucks or less.

·       In 2015, the trucking industry hauled 10.49 billion tons of freight, or 70.1 percent of total U.S. freight tonnage. Rail was the next busiest mode, moving 13.8 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage.

·       In 2015, the trucking industry was an astounding $726.48 billion industry, representing 81.5 percent of the nation’s freight bill.

·       More than 80 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities. • A new truck produces one-tenth the fine particulate emissions and smog-forming NOx emissions as a similar truck manufactured just seven years ago.

·       Fine particulate emissions from on-road diesel trucks have been cut by more than half over the past decade.

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics has the following outlook on the industry:

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