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Trucking by the numbers 2014

Aug. 12, 2014
By any measure, this is the story of a healthy industry with a solid future

Given the enthusiastic response to last year’s statistical portrait of trucking, we are returning with an expanded set of graphs, charts and other data intended to capture the industry’s far-reaching impact and central role in the country’s economic activity and health.

The goal in forsaking words for numbers is to provide some perspective on how your operation and others that come under the broad category of trucking perform as economic engines, as employers, as safety advocates, as contributors to environmental protection, and in a dozen other roles that all too often go unappreciated in the daily pressures of business.

We’ve organized our research results into broad categories that include basic operational data, financial performance, traffic volumes, fuel consumption, and employment statistics for drivers, technicians and office workers.  Within each category there are some numbers illustrating historical trends, others offering forecasts, and yet others providing the most recent totals available.  While any single chart or graph might have little relevance to your particular fleet, others should provide you with reliable benchmarks.  And taken as a whole, they offer solid evidence of trucking’s vitality and its keystone role in our economic health.

In keeping with our stated goal of providing as broad a perspective as possible, we cast a wide net for the data presented.  Federal sources that include the Depts. of Transportation, Labor, Commerce and Energy and their various bureaus and agencies provided much of the raw data informing our graphics.  The American Trucking Assns.’  “American Trucking Trends 2014” was also a valuable resource, offering its annual roundup of up-to-date statistics and analysis.

WardsAuto.com, a sister Penton media outlet, is the gold standard when it comes to vehicle production numbers and provided our truck sales numbers.  Two well-known analyst groups—C.J. Driscoll & Assocs. and Frost & Sullivan—rounded out our report with survey and forecast information unavailable from any other sources.

Identifying and collecting relevant data is just the first step in creating this report. 

Acknowledgement for turning that data into accessible and informative graphic forms is also due to a Fleet Owner editorial team that includes Avery Vise, Brian Straight, Elsa Pecoroni and Dan Zeis.

To see individual graphics, click on the following links for:

About the Author

Jim Mele

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

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