Editor's note: This is the first of a five-part series of Fleet Owner's annual Trucking by the Numbers report.
It’s a numbers game. You hear that said about a lot of things. It can mean using mathematics to manipulate facts or results. Or to support an argument. It can explain why players on sports teams lose their jobs. Over the next week, starting with the first installment, the numbers game will show and tell the trucking and transportation industries in detail.
While all the graphs, charts, factoids, and more are interesting on their own, the point of the section is for fleet owners to glean information they can use when making decisions that affect their businesses going forward. Various categories are included, each with several very specific numbers and dates. They include Overview (e.g., multi-modal freight movement), General Industry (e.g., top states by vehicle counts), Drivers (e.g., wages and benefits), Safety (e.g., large truck fatal crashes), and Traffic (e.g., average congestion cost per truck).
Trucking serves as a linchpin for the U.S. economy, moving over 70% of all the freight tonnage in the U.S. by more than three million commercial driver license (CDL) holders. They burn over 38 billion gallons of diesel annually. It is numbers like those that help illustrate how important motor carriers are in allowing modern life to function smoothly in America. All goods delivered on an almost same-day basis to our doors, and the ability to travel thousands of miles across the country on a moment’s notice, all relate back to a transportation and logistics capability that continues to grow in every way.
Here’s the overview of the trucking numbers game, 2019 edition.