America depends on its trucking industry. In fact, it’s responsible for moving 71% of all freight and composing about 6% of the country’s full-time jobs. This means there are millions of drivers working in this billion-dollar industry that serves as a vital lifeline between manufacturers and those who want to buy their products. These are just a few of the many facts that you’d find surprising about one of America’s oldest industries today.
Little Known Facts About the Trucking Industry
In 2017 the American trucking industry’s revenues were higher than those in over 150 other nations. This $700 billion industry hosts many other surprising facts as well, including:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that about 5.8% of all the full-time jobs in America are related to this industry. Within this group of truckers over 40% of the jobs are held by minorities. Yet, when you talk to experts in this industry most of them will tell you that the industry should hire 900,000 more drivers even though there are already 129 million people working in this industry today. This is because the industry continues to rapidly grow today.
- Walmart on its own employs over 8,600 truckers. These truckers work directly for Walmart because the company has shifted away from using third-party truckers and started hiring their own. In 2018 they onboarded over 1,400 new truckers and this year they’ve added hundreds more. According to CBS Walmart pays its truckers about $88,000 per year.
- The American Trucking Association says that trucks moved about 10.8 billion tons of freight in 2017 alone. You can think about it like this: The number equates to about 30 lbs of goods for every man, woman, and child living in America today.
- Trucks move over 70% of all products that are transported throughout the United States today. This leaves only 30% of products to be moved through a combination of trains, boats, and planes – so approximately 10% for each of these three carriers individually.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the official board that’s responsible for overseeing the trucking industry. However, none of its members was ever a trucker themselves nor do any of them even hold a commercial driver’s license.
- If long-haul truckers were to go on strike, it would only take three days for most of America’s grocery stores to run out of food. Nevertheless, professional truck drivers still earn less than most Americans do when you look at their annual income. This is surprising because it seems like there’s an unlimited amount of food available on store shelves today.
- The average motorist in America today will drive about 13,500 miles per year. However, the average professional long-haul trucker will drive 7 times more miles averaging around 100,000 miles per year. This means they’re driving about 2,000 – 3,000 miles per week.
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Picture Credit: Matthew T Rader