10 Facts About the Trucking Industry That May Surprise You
Trucking impacts everyone on a daily basis
Recently business insider shared some interesting facts about the trucking industry that highlights what a large role trucking has on the US economy and our way of life. Most people probably don’t realize the impact trucking has on everyday life. Trucking is often one of those behind the scenes things that most of us take for granted. The reality is pretty much everything we have, buy and use was delivered by a truck. Check out the 10 facts below and you will likely have a new perspective AND appreciation for truckers and the trucking industry.
1. In 2017, the US trucking industry generated just over $700 billion.
That was more than the entire GDP of Bangladesh, and slightly less than the GDP of Colombia, according to the CIA Factbook. If the trucking industry were a nation, it would have ranked 33rd in GDP that year.
2. Approximately 5.8% of all full-time jobs in America are related to trucking
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were about 129 million full-time jobs in America. That same year, approximately 7.4 million people were employed by the trucking industry. That means about 5.8% of all American full-time workers had a job thanks to trucking.
3. Walmart alone employs more than 8,600 truckers
In recent years, Walmart has been turning away from third-party contracts and employing its own truckers, including a hiring surge of more than 1,400 new drivers brought on in 2018 and hundreds more so far in 2019. Walmart truckers earn on average nearly $88,000 per year, CBS reported.
4. In 2017, trucks moved 10.8 billion tons of freight
According to American Trucking Associations, US trucks moved 10.8 billion tons of freight in 2017. That equates to about 30 pounds worth of goods for every man, woman, and child in the country.
5. And trucks move more than 70% of all goods transported around the United States
Trucking accounts for the vast majority of freight in America, with trucks carrying almost 71% of the tonnage moved about the country. That far surpasses trains, boats, and air when it comes to moving cargo around the nation.
6. More than 40% of the jobs in the American trucking industry are held by minorities
Trucking is a surprisingly egalitarian industry, with 40.6% of all trucking jobs held by minorities. This far outpaces the national average when all jobs are compared — overall, minorities hold just 22% of jobs in this country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7. Not one of the regulators charged with overseeing the trucking industry was ever a truck driver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is charged with managing the laws and regulations that control trucking in America. But not one of its four administrators has ever held a commercial driver’s license or had any background in the trucking industry.
8. Most grocery stores would run out of food in just three days if long-haul truckers stopped driving
It might seem like food supplies on supermarket shelves are boundless, always there when you need them. But in fact, experts predict that most grocery stores would start running out of food just three days after long-haul truckers stopped working.
9. Truck drivers earn less than most Americans in terms of annual income
Despite all the chatter about the growing trucking industry and the need for drivers, it’s not the most lucrative line of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, the median income was about $46,800 per year, while the median annual wage for truckers was $43,680.
10. The average professional long-haul trucker logs more than 100,000 miles per year
Given restrictions on how many hours a driver can log in a given day (and in a given week), most drivers will average about 2,000 and 3,000 miles a week. Over the course of the year, that a trucker’s mileage total can easily exceed 100,000 miles. For comparison, the average US motorist drives about 13,500 miles a year.