New figures released by the American Trucking Association (ATA) show just how much the trucking industry thrived last year. According to the ATA’s annual ATA American Trucking Trends 2019 report, the industry made $796.7 billion in 2018. This is up from $700.1 billion the previous year, a nearly billion-dollar increase in just a year.
“2018 was a year of dynamic growth for the trucking industry,” said Bob Costello, ATA Chief Economist. “’ Trends' is a simple, one-stop resource to see where our industry is so executives and policymakers can make informed decisions about where it is going.”
The report also highlighted other key trends in the industry. Last year, trucks were responsible for moving 11.49 billion tons in freight, which is 71.4% of the nation’s tonnage freight. In total, the trucking industry’s revenues accounted for 80.3% of the U.S.’s freight bill.
Trucks also played a crucial role in trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. In June the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics revealed that trucks were responsible for moving the majority of trans-border freight. The ATA report expands on that with data showing that trucks moved 67.4% of surface freight between the U.S. and Canada, and 83.5% of cross-border trade with Mexico.
Other key trends outlined in the report was the role trucking continues to play as a major source of U.S. employment. 7.8 million people are working in trucking-related jobs, which is up 100,000 from 2017. This includes 3.5 million truck drivers. Although there is still a driver shortage, women and minorities continue to be an underutilized demographic, accounting for 6.6% and 40.4% of the driving workforce respectively.
The ATA Trends report showed that most carriers continued to be small companies. Fleets with six or fewer trucks make up 91.3% of all fleets. Fleets with 20 trucks or fewer make up 97.4% of all fleets. Small carriers were recently denied an ELD exemption, so it will be interesting to see whether this impacts the success of small fleets in 2019.
Overall, the trucking industry thrived last year with almost $800 billion in revenues. Looking at last years’ trends can provide valuable insight to carriers. “ATA believes good decisions are based on good data, and 'Trend' is full of strong data, which is why it finds a home on the desks of elected officials, regulators and executives across the supply chain,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO.