ATA reports industry reaches freight milestone

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The U.S. trucking industry increased its share of the nation’s freight pool, hauling more goods than ever in 2005, the American Trucking Associations reported today, July 5. ATA’s American Trucking Trends 2005-2006 reports that the industry hauled 68.9 percent of the total volume of freight transported in the United States in 2005, which equates to an all-time high carrying load of 10.7 billion tons, and $623 billion in revenue, representing 84.3 percent of the nation’s freight bill.

“These numbers show clearly that trucking is the driving force behind our great economy and a vital transportation link for domestic and international products,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “Nearly every good consumed in the United States is put on a truck at some point.”

American Trucking Trends, an annual state-of-the-industry report, shows that trucking’s record numbers mirrored the performance of the U.S. economy, which “reached new heights” in 2005. Trends, produced by ATA, reported that more than 26 million trucks of all classes played a part in reaching the forecast milestone. Of this number, 2.7 million were typical Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations operated by 565,000 interstate motor carriers.

Class 8 trucks drove 117.8 billion miles of the total 388 billion miles of all weight classes used for business purposes in 2004. The nation’s truck fleet consumed 51.4 billion gallons of fuel, both diesel and gasoline; the industry is on pace to spend nearly $100 billion on diesel fuel alone this year, up from $87.7 billion in 2005. Commercial trucks paid $32.8 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes in 2004.

The trucking industry continues as a major employer in the United States, with more than 8.6 million people employed in trucking-related jobs in 2004; of these, 3.28 million are professional truck drivers.

Trucking also played an important role in trade exchanged between the United States and our largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. Trucks transported 81.9 percent of the value of trade between the United States and Mexico in 2004 and 65.7 percent of the value of trade between the United States and Canada.

American Trucking Trends 2005-2006 provides information on U.S. truck tonnage, employment, freight revenues, shipment value, engine sales, modal share and international trucking. Topics explored also include safety statistics, cost-per-mile analysis, top trailer manufacturers, highway-user taxes, U.S. motor carrier size and distribution, trucking employment by state, international trucking, fuel consumption and emissions data.