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May 12, 2014 9:40 AM, EDT
Trucking Holds as Dominant Freight Mode, ATA Trends Report Says
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

Trucking remains the dominant U.S. mode of freight transportation, hauling 69.1% of freight last year totaling 9.7 billion tons, with both figures up from a year earlier, American Trucking Associations reported May 12.

Trucking’s percentage was up from 2012’s total of 68.7%, and tonnage rose from 9.4 billion tons a year earlier, according to ATA’s latest “American Trucking Trends.”

The trucking industry collected 81.2% of total U.S. freight revenue last year, up from 80.7% in 2012, ATA said.

“This report shows once again what a critical role trucking plays in the U.S. economy,” ATA President Bill Graves said. “Trucking continues to move the most, and most valuable, freight in the United States despite the challenges of congestion, regulations and crumbling infrastructure.”

“It is fitting this report is being released at the start of Infrastructure Week,” Graves added. “Our industry’s growth in the face of continued road and bridge deterioration has been amazing, but it is time for our elected leaders to do their part to ensure that the highways we use to move America’s goods safely and efficiently are in good condition.”

The report also said that:

• Trucks move the majority of all North American Free Trade Agreement freight, hauling 55.4% of trade with Canada and 65.4% of with Mexico.

• Trucking employed more than 7 million people in 2013.

• The trucking industry paid $37.8 billion in state and federal highway user fees last year.

The report “is an annual almanac, a snapshot, of what the trucking industry, and really what the freight economy, looks like,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “These numbers tell us what is happening in trucking, and that’s important for industry leaders, suppliers and policymakers.”