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American Trucking Associations’ Facts on Trucking for 2016
September 13th, 2017

In the recent release of ATA American Trucking Trends 2017, the trucking industry has a better understanding of where it stood in 2016. Every fact and figure from how many truckers there are—3.5 million—to the percent of small trucking businesses—97 percent—are documented in this report.

If you are wondering what the current state of trucking is, then this is the most comprehensive document you can read today. To give you an overview, we’ve highlighted some of the top stats from Trends. Not sure how this information applies to you and your trucking job? Keep reading to find out.

Top Statistics About Freight Hauling

In the US, freight hauling is the most important aspect of the economy. According to the Trends report:

  • The trucking industry accounted for more than $675 billion in 2016. This is equivalent to nearly 80 percent of the freight expenses in the US.
  • Thanks to truckers, 70 percent of freight was transported within the country, which is more than 10 billion tons.

Other freight transportation industries include rail, ocean, and air transport. Clearly the trucking industry is the leader in US transport, which means we need to focus just as much attention on improving the trucking industry. Whether we are talking about spending more on infrastructure or banding together to find a way to make truckers’ lives better, there needs to be more attention to trucking.

Latest Trucking Employment Facts

In total, there are 103 million Americans in the workforce according to the Pew Research Center. The biggest sector in the US workforce, which is education and health services, has nearly 23 million workers. However, trucking as an industry holds its own:

  • There are more than 7 million Americans who work in the trucking industry.
  • Among those 3.5 million are truck drivers.
  • Six percent of Americans work in the trucking industry and 3 percent are truck drivers.
  • The rate of female truckers is rising at 6 percent in 2016, an increase of one percent since 2012.
  • Additionally, more than 38 percent of truck drivers are minorities.

Trucking Company Numbers

How many trucking companies have fewer than 20 trucks in a fleet? A whopping 97 percent, while 91 percent of companies have less than six trucks. Yet when it comes to hiring truck drivers, the bigger trucking companies tend to get the most attention. Why? Because these nationwide trucking carriers have the most money to put toward marketing, trucking technology, and truck driver recruitment.

If you are interested in hauling for a company with the most financial pull, then you would want to go with one of the big carriers with more than 20 trucks. Yet the smaller companies are clearly overriding the market. How is this possible? Owner operators and independent contractors who own their trucking business are considered a trucking company. So, in reality, there are fewer small trucking companies hiring than these figures suggest.

Benefits of ATA Trends Data

The data for the annual report by the American Trucking Associations is useful in several ways. First, it shows where the trucking industry is in terms of the economy. Secondly, as a truck driver, you need to know what’s going on in the industry in which you are employed. If the trucking industry is on the downward slide, then this puts your trucking job at risk. On the other hand, when the trucking industry is struggling to find truckers to fill semi seats, this gives you the upper hand.

Supply and demand run every aspect of trucking. As a truck driver looking for trucking jobs, this lack of qualified drivers puts you in the position of demand. You have what it takes to handle trucking jobs, such as flatbed jobs or dry van jobs, and trucking companies, like Knight Transportation and Celadon Specialized Fleet, need your services. This means you can benefit from:

  • Higher truck driving pay rates and better trucking salaries
  • Top notch sign-on bonuses exceeding $6,000
  • Latest trucking equipment, which helps companies reduce fuel and repair costs while keeping you rolling with fewer hiccups
  • Better truck driving benefits including retirement plans with employer matching and affordable health insurance options

Finding Better Paying Trucking Jobs

In other words, right now is the best time to find a new trucking job. The demand for the industry is the highest it’s been in decades. With a lack of qualified OTR truck drivers to take on trucking jobs, you stand to gain the most by getting a new trucking job. Look for the biggest trucking companies, such as Swift Transportation or Werner Enterprises, to see what kind of driver perks and trucker benefits packages are being offered.

Then, start sending out your truck driver applications to all the trucking companies currently hiring by using a free online trucking job application service. You can get your application in front of hundreds of trucking companies in just a click of a computer key. If you have the experience and skills, then you have the power to make more during this high demand period for truck drivers.

Don’t have truck driving or OTR experience? Not a problem at all. Many trucking companies are now hiring new truckers and student drivers who either are in trucking school or who’ve just earned a CDL. It’s a great time to find jobs as a trucker with no experience, and most companies will grant you the behind-the-wheel training you need to have a successful truck driving career.

Source: American Trucking Associations – Press Release

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