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ATA: Trucking still rules freight movement

Industry hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight, generating almost $792 billion in 2019

The American Truck Associations said its new data show that trucking accounted for 80% of all freight movement in 2019.

The trucking industry generated almost $792 billion in revenue in 2019, moving 11.84 billion tons of freight, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said.

The two figures are among the highlights of the annual data n the American Trucking Trends 2020 report.

The industry employed 7.95 million people in trucking-related positions, up 140,000 from 2018. Professional drivers account for 3.6 million jobs. Women make up 6.7% and minorities account for 41.5% of drivers.

The trucking industry employed 7.95 million people in 2019, according to the American Trucking Associations. This FreightWaves SONAR chart shows slightly increasing employment into late March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. (Chart: FreightWaves SONAR/EMPS.TPWH)

Among the report’s other findings:

  • Trucking’s revenues in 2019 accounted for 80.4% of the nation’s freight bill.
  • Trucks moved 67.7% of surface freight between the United States and Canada and 83.1% of cross-border trade with Mexico, totaling $772 billion of goods.
  • Most carriers are small companies – 91.3% of fleets operate six or fewer trucks and 97.4% operate 20 or fewer.
The number of small fleets, defined as having one to six trucks, makes up 93.1% of all fleets, according to data from the American Trucking Associations. The SONAR chart shows an upward trend. (Chart: SONAR/FCTCO.USA)

“Despite a challenging year… the industry was in good shape entering the global pandemic,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.  

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.