American Trucking Associations' American Trucking Trends 2017 annual compendium of data on the trucking industry reveals that the trucking industry generated $676.2 billion in revenue last year, making up nearly 80% of the nation’s freight bill. Trucks moved 70.6% of all domestic freight tonnage for a total of 10.42 billion tons of freight.
“The information in Trends highlights exactly what I tell elected officials, regulators and key decision-makers every day: Trucking is literally the driving force behind our great economy,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Safe, reliable and efficient motor carriers enable businesses throughout the supply chain to maintain lean inventories, thereby saving the economy billions of dollars each year.”
Trucking isn’t cheap either, with the ATA finding that the nation’s commercial trucks paid $41.3 billion in state and federal highway user fees and taxes, with the average five-axle tractor trailer paying more than $5,600 in taxes annually.
There were 33.8 million trucks registered for business purposes, of which 3.68 million were Class 8 vehicles. Those trucks burned 38.8 billion gallons of diesel fuel and 15.5 billion gallons of gasoline and traveled 450.4 billion miles.
Somebody has to drive all of those vehicles, of course, and the trucking industry employed 7.4 million Americans last year, nearly half of which were drivers. Of those drivers, 6% are women and 38.7% are minorities.
As a whole, the trucking industry is primarily made up of small businesses; 91% percent of motor carriers operate six or fewer trucks and 97% operate fewer than 20.
More data is available and complied in the American Trucking Trends 2017 compendium, available for purchase here.