A freight recession in the trucking industry is likely to linger into 2024, but even as freight rates hit the bottom of the barrel, the overall volume of goods hauled and the total revenue generated rose in 2022, according to the latest edition of American Trucking Associations’ (ATA’s) American Trucking Trends 2023.
“While 2022 was a challenging year for trucking in many respects, the industry still posted growth in revenue, tonnage, employment and several other measures,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release. “In addition, by share of freight revenue and tonnage, trucking remained by far the dominant mode of transportation in the country.”
• Trucks moved 11.46 billion tons of freight – up from 10.93 billion tons the previous year.
• The industry collected 80.7% of the nation’s freight bill – generating $940.8 billion.
• Trucking employed 8.4 million people in industry-related jobs, up 405,000 from the previous year, including 3.54 million professional truck drivers.
• Women made up 8.1% of the nation’s drivers – an all-time high and the seventh straight annual increase.
• Trends detailed the racial/ethnic background of drivers, with 18.3% of drivers identifying as Black, 4% as Asian and 23.3% as Hispanic or Latino.
• Trucking remains a small business industry: 95.8% of fleets operate ten or fewer trucks, and 99.7% operate 100 or fewer.
• Trucks moved 61.9% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada and 83.5% of cross-border trade with Mexico, for a total of $947.92 billion worth of goods.