U.S. trucking revenue surged to $796.7 billion in 2018, a 13.8 percent increase from a year earlier. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported the figure in its annual American Trucking Trends 2019, released on July 31.
The data helps quantify how carriers benefitted from last year’s freight boom ahead of the whiplash of 2019. Importantly, it covers small privately owned firms that don’t have to report their earnings and account for more than 90 percent of carriers.
The report also notes the increases in cross-border trucking in 2018. Trucks accounted for 83.5 percent of U.S.-Mexico surface freight, a 10.2 percent increase, and 67.4 percent of surface freight between the U.S. and Canada, a 3.6 percent increase.
Did you know?
Truckload volumes have been trending 3 percent above their 2018 levels in the United States. It may be an important sign of a recovery in the freight market.
“It is far too early to throw in the towel.”
– Stifel shipping analyst Ben Nolan, on the absence of a tanker rate spike ahead of the IMO 2020 fuel regulation.
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What is striking in the ATA’s Trucking Trends report is the difference from 2017. Carrier revenue increased by just 3.5 percent in 2017.
That means billions of dollars in additional revenue poured into the industry in 2018.
ATA’s 2020 report will most likely tell a different story. As the string of carrier closures show, 2019 has been challenging for the industry, particularly for smaller players that are less able to withstand market whiplash.
Hammer down everyone!