Trucking industry set freight milestone in 2006

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The U.S. trucking industry in 2006 hauled more goods than ever before in a single year, the American Trucking Associations reported today, Jan. 25. ATA’s American Trucking Trends 2007-2008 reports that the trucking industry hauled 69 percent of the total volume of freight transported in the United States in 2006. This equates to an all-time-high carrying load of 10.7 billion tons, and $645.6 billion in revenue, representing 83.8 percent of the nation’s freight bill.

“Americans should understand that their national economy is directly linked to freight transportation,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “Trucking is the driving force behind our great economy. Safe, reliable and efficient motor carriers enable businesses throughout the entire supply chain to keep inventories lean, thereby saving the economy billions of dollars each year.”

American Trucking Trends, an annual state-of-the-industry report produced by ATA, reported that more than 26 million trucks of all classes played a part in reaching the tonnage milestone. Of this number, 2.9 million were typical Class 8 trucks operated by more than 750,000 interstate motor carriers.

Class 8 trucks drove 130.5 billion miles of the total 414 billion miles traveled by all weight classes used for business purposes in 2005. The nation’s truck fleet consumed 52.8 billion gallons of fuel, both diesel and gasoline. The trucking industry spent about $111 billion on diesel fuel in 2007, up from $103.3 billion in 2006. Commercial trucks paid $35.2 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes in 2005.

The trucking industry continues as a major employer in the United States. Nearly 8.7 million people were employed in trucking-related jobs across all U.S. industries in 2005. Of these, 3.4 million are professional truck drivers.

Trucking also played an important role in trade exchanged between the United States and two of America’s largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. Trucks transported 80.7 percent of the value of trade between the United States and Mexico in 2006 and 64.4 percent of the value of trade between the United States and Canada.

American Trucking Trends 2007-2008 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, top trailer manufacturers, highway-user taxes, U.S. motor carrier size and distribution, trucking employment by state, international trucking, fuel consumption and emissions data. Trends contains data from different sources; therefore, the most recent year available may vary.

The report can be purchased at or by calling 800-282-5463.