As Port Volumes Grow Higher, Trucks Are Driving US Recoveryby Jana Ritter - Published: 5/29/2013
A new report issued today by American Trucking Associations, ATA American Trucking Trends 2013, demonstrated that trucking continues to be the dominant mode of freight transportation in the United In fact, the even more goods were being delivered by truck hauling 68.5% of freight last year, according to the American Trucking Associations report released Wednesday.
Calling trucking a dynamic, growing industry that is the literal lifeblood of the U.S. economy, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves points out data to back up his statement in this year's edition of Trends:
- • Trucks moved 9.4 billion tons of freight in 2012, or 68.5% of all domestic shipments. Both figures are up from the previous year.
- • In 2012, trucking generated $642.1 billion in gross freight-related revenues, or 80.7% of the nation's freight bills, also increases from 2011.
- • There are 6.9 million people employed in trucking-related industries.
- • The majority of trucking companies are small businesses - with 90.5% operating six or fewer trucks. Only 2.8% of fleets operate more than 20 trucks.
- • Class 6-8 trucks traveled 137.2 billion miles in 2011 - up 4.7% from the previous year.
- • The trucking industry paid $36.5 billion in federal and state highway user fees and taxes in 2011 - a 10.3% increase from 2009.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello added to Bill Graves' position on the importance of the US trucking industry." As the nation continues to travel the road to recovery following the Great Recession it is becoming increasingly clear that trucking is leading the way," Costello said "The data in Trends should provide a road map for policy makers and business leaders as they continue to plot the course of that recovery."
The recent gains in truck and port activity are also a sign of “cautious optimism among U.S. retailers.” While retailers are keeping supplies lean to maximize profit margins, they are relying on real-time replenishment as demand picks up, according to Walter Todd chief investment officer of Greenwood Capital Associates LLC in Greenwood, South Carolina. “We were a little concerned about consumption coming into the year; we haven’t seen it fall off, though.”
Transportation volumes are useful for confirming other indicators of consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of GDP. “Growth in the economy isn’t gangbusters, but its grinding higher just like port and trucking volumes”, Todd said.
American Trucking Trends 2013 is available exclusively from ATA Business Solutions and participating state trucking associations. American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry