If you connected all of the loads trucks delivered in 2013, the chain would stretch from the Earth to the Moon…more than 11 times.

This, and many other facts, are in the just released new edition of the American Trucking Association’s American Trucking Trends, the annual almanac of trucking and freight transportation, confirming the industry’s role as the primary mover of freight in the United States, according to the group.

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

Among the findings in American Trucking Trends:

  • In 2013, trucks moved 69.1% of all domestic freight tonnage, up from 68.5% the previous year.
  • The industry also collected 81.2% of all freight revenue, up from 80.7% in 2012.
  • Trucks move the majority of all NAFTA trade, hauling 55.4% of all trade with Canada and 65.4% of all trade with Mexico.
  • Trucking employed more than 7 million people in 2013.
  • The industry paid $37.8 billion in state and federal highway user fees.
  • Since 2003, truck engines have gotten cleaner with an 88% drop in sulfur dioxide emissions, a 48% decline in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 32% drop in particulate matter.
  • It takes trucking nine days to move as many loads as move via rail intermodal in all of 2013.

“It is fitting this report is being released at the start of Infrastructure Week,” Graves added. “Our industry’s 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 insure that the highways we use to move America’s goods safely and efficiently are in good condition.”

Infrastructure Week brings together various business groups and organized labor to explore emerging solutions, innovative approaches and best practices being developed nationwide to modernize aging infrastructure. It comes as Congress is working on authorizing a new surface transportation funding bill.

 American Trucking Trends is available for purchase at www.atabusinesssolutions.com