The 2012 Trucking Trends Report
The 2012 American Trucking Trends report was recently released by the American Trucking Association, in which it stated that the truck industry remains an important part of the U.S. economy, providing truck driving jobs as well as continuing to be a leading form of freight transportation. The report studied statistics relating to the industry in a number of ways, such as the size of the industry, performance, sales, taxes, demographics of fleets, safety, effects on the environment, diesel trends, truck driving jobs, and the international trade.
The report disclosed that in December 2011, almost 53% of the more than 1.2 million carriers in the U.S. were private carriers. The industry was found to be predominantly run by smaller companies, with 90% of them having operated with a mere six trucks or less. 97.2% of all trucking companies maintain fewer than 20 trucks. Almost 6.3 million people worked in the truck industry last year, 3 million of which were truck drivers. Out of the 3 million drivers, 32.6% were minorities while 4.6% were women.
Trucks moved freight weighing 9.2 billion tons, almost 67% of all freight, worth 603.9 billion, making up more than 80% of all freight transportation revenue in 2011. That same year, their trucks used 37.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel. The previous year, in 2010, every truck on the road, both big and small, traveled a total of 397.8 billion miles. Trucks classified between 6 and 8 traveled 131.2 billion miles.
In 2010 the revenue per mile index rose almost 4.4% from the previous year. According to the ATT report, the revenue has continued to climb as the revenue index has risen almost 5.7% in 2011. The index for revenue per mile now sits just below the record of 147.0 set in 2008. Quite a recovery compared to the 10.9% plunge the index for revenue per mile took in 2009. The industry’s revenue per ton index on average for the less-than-truckload in 2011 rose by almost 4.3%. This is a large recovery after having fallen 16.5% over the past two years.
On the negative side of the report, there were only 3.03 million truck drivers on the road in 2010, a decrease of 123,000, roughly 3.9%, from the previous year. This marks a steady decline in truck drivers since 2006. The amount of female and minority truck drivers has dropped off as well. In 2010 there were 123,000 female truck drivers on the road, almost 25,000 less than there were in the previous year. In 2010, 32.6% of all truck drivers on the road are minorities. This is a drop off from the previous year, in which 3.9% of all truck drivers were minorities. Of those minorities, African American drivers have decreased 2.5%, while Hispanic drivers have decreased 10.1%.
Nevertheless, the ATT report led Bob Costello, the Chief Economist of the ATA, to state that the truck driving industry is helping to lead the country’s economy back on track following the recession.