March 24, 2020 HMA Website

Essential Industry: Trucking

No doubt we are all more aware of logistics after recent trips to the grocery store.  Toilet Paper memes notwithstanding, the importance of trucks, drivers, and the underlying support systems of repair shops, technicians, parts, and warehousing has never been more apparent.

On March 18, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration eased restrictions on truck drivers, allowing them to work longer hours if they are carrying certain critical items.  These critical items include food, medical supplies and fuel.  With grocery purchases spiking up 300% in some areas, an efficient, healthy, and quick trucking system is critical to restock the nations stores.

The magnitude of the trucking and logistics industry is staggering, and easily overlooked when supply and demand are in balance.

  • In 2017, America’s trucking industry had higher revenues than the GDP of 150 nations
  • Truck drivers are responsible for 75% of the total freight transported in the USA
  • 90% of all food in America is hauled by refrigerated trucks
  • 6% of all full-time jobs in the United States are in the trucking industry
  • There are 15.5M trucks on the roads
  • The US has 3.5M qualified truck drivers
  • One in nine truck drivers are independent and the majority are owner operators
  • Truck drivers use 50B gallons of gas, approximately 12-13% of national fuel consumption
  • 62% of trucking hauls are 100 miles or less
  • The average long-haul trucker racks up 2,000-3,000 miles per week and about 100,000 miles annually
  • Trucks carried approximately 11B tons of freight in 2017, or about 30 pounds for every man, woman, and child in the USA
  • Walmart employs more than 8,500 truck drivers
  • The trucking industry is expected to grow 21% over the next decade
  • There is an estimated employment gap of 900,000 people
  • 1 out of every 14 jobs in the United States is created or directly affected by the trucking industry

The transportation sector and trucking specifically are critical to the US economy and lives of Americans in the best of times.  When supply and demand become imbalanced and there is supply chain uncertainty, trucking becomes vital.

The strength and health of our truck drivers, technicians, parts supply chains, warehousing teams, and logistics professionals are more important than ever.


Sources: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Markets Insider, Hollingsworth, Flock Freight, Cardinal, HNI