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Sorting through the data on PPP loans: A road map from FreightWaves

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

The data released by the Small Business Administration on Monday, July 6, on the identity of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients is a data-fest for the trucking industry.

It also can be daunting so FreightWaves has put it into an online spreadsheet, to allow easier searching. The search box is in the upper right-hand corner of the page. We have reduced the number of categories for faster loading, though it still takes a few minutes for the page to load.

Here’s what you should know about the best way to use the data.

Each company that received a loan has the following information released about it: the name of the company; its address; its classification under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); its business type (corporation, LLC, etc.); the race/ethnicity, gender and veteran status of the borrower (though most trucking companies left that unanswered); the number of jobs retained; when the loan was approved; and the name of the lender. The date of the loan approval is particularly relevant because the recipient has 24 weeks to spend the funds.

The spreadsheet also provides the Congressional district where the recipient is located. This feature can make it easy to search for companies located close to a particular area you may be searching in. 

The range of the funds loaned to the company is provided in tranches: $150,000 to $350,000; $350,000 to $1 million; $1 million to $2 million; $2 million to $5 million; and $5 million to $10 million.

Loans less than $150,000 are not being disclosed. The loans that are less than $150,000 make up about 86% of the total number of loans, but only a little more than 25% of the money loaned.

The Google sheet FreightWaves is supplying is easy to search. At the top of each column is a small icon to the right, sort of an updown triangle. If you click on that, you can sort the column by name, by location, by particular category of loan size, and so on. For example, if you are trying to find out if a key competitor received a PPP loan, you can search under Business Name. Click on the icon and it will allow you to sort through the data by clicking on A to Z. The names of the companies will be listed in that order.

While we wrote earlier that there were more than 3,200 borrowers in the large trucking category, the reality is that in sector 48, defined as Transportation and Warehousing, there are numerous categories. The two most significant for long-haul trucking are 484121, entitled General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload, and 484122, General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less than Truckload. 

To narrow down the offerings in the spreadsheet, the following categories are included: 

484110: General freight trucking, local

484121:  General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload

484122:  General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less Than Truckload

484210:  Used Household and Office Goods Moving

484220: Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local

484230: Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance

493110: General Warehousing and Storage

The third-party logistics (3PL) sector is not under Sector 48. Its NAICS code is 541614: Process, Physical Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services. 

The entire 48 sector includes numerous transportation-related services, including railroads. There have been more than 37,500 loans disbursed to borrowers that fit one of the many categories in Sector 48.

A document with all the NAICS codes can be found here. Sector 48 starts on page 379. 

More articles by John Kingston

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.