ATA’s American Trucking Trends provides detailed analysis of how trucking did in 2019

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · July 14, 2020

While 2019 was not the watershed year for trucking that 2018 was, it does not mean that 2019 was not a strong year for the sector. That thesis was firmly supported in data issued this week by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) in its “ATA American Trucking Trends 2020.”

“Trends” essentially serves as the ATA’s annual report as its annual data compendium regarding the trucking sector. ATA officials view the publication as indispensable for use by motor carriers, industry suppliers, logistics providers, analysts, and public policy makers, among other stakeholders.

When looking at 2019 data alone, the data tells a solid story about the state of trucking, even if it does fall short of 2018 levels.

For example, ATA reported that the trucking industry generated $791.7 billion in revenue in 2019, for 80.4% of the total U.S. freight bill, while moving 11.84 billion tons of freight For comparison’s sake, in 2018, industry revenue came in at $796.7 billion, for 80.3% of the total U.S. freight bill, while moving slightly less weight, at 11.49 billion tons (driven by a favorable rate environment for carriers), for 71.4% of the nation’s tonnage freight.

What’s more, “American Trucking Trends 2020” found that in 2019 trucks accounted for 67.7% of total surface freight between the U.S. and Canada and 83.1% of U.S. cross-border trade with Mexico, representing a cumulative $772 billion in goods. And it also found that 7.95 million people held trucking-related jobs in 2019, marking a 140,000 person annual increase over 2018, with that 7.95 million tally including 3.6 million drivers.

Other personnel-related findings found that women comprise 6.7% of the sector’s drivers, with minorities representing 41.5% of truckers. And 91.3% of U.S. fleets have six or fewer trucks, with 97.4% operating 20 or fewer trucks.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello observed that while 2019 could be viewed as a challenging year, the publication’s data paints a positive picture for the sector, in advance of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are clearly in unsettling and uncertain times, a consistent stable throughout good times and bad in the supply chain are the industry’s asset, in this case, that is trucks. Trucking is often viewed as a benchmark of economic activity and an indicator of where things may be headed. Even though we are amid a pandemic that has not changed. When demand heads up and more visibility is evident, trucking will be there getting goods that we need to us. That remains a supply chain and logistics constant.

July 14, 2020

Article Topics ATA · trucking · All Topics