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August 16, 2017 2:15 PM, EDT

‘American Truck Trends’ Quantifies Size of Industry

U.S. trucks moved more than 70% of the nation’s freight last year, and the companies that owned those vehicles employed 7.4 million people, according to a new publication from American Trucking Associations.

"American Truck Trends," published Aug. 14, is an annual collection of data from ATA to help quantify the size and nature of U.S. trucking.

The study says combined trucking company revenue was $676.2 billion last year, or 79.8% of total freight transportation revenue across all modes.

When measured by weight, trucks hauled 10.42 billion tons in 2016, or 70.6% of all freight tonnage.

“From economic performance to safety and tax data, ‘Trends’ is the one publication that contains it all,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, who helped compile the report.

Among the other findings, trucking companies generally are small. Ninety-one percent of carriers have six trucks or fewer; 97.3% have 20 or fewer.

The nation’s heavy-duty fleets are made up of 3.68 million trucks. Those Class 8s and other commercial vehicles consumed 38.8 billion gallons of diesel fuel last year and 15.5 billion gallons of gasoline while traveling 450.4 billion miles.

The owner of an average tractor-trailer combination paid $5,600 in taxes on the vehicle last year.

“Trends” is a companion publication to the ATA Freight Transportation Forecast. The most recent version of “Forecast” covers 2017-2028 and was published July 19.