ATA’s ‘American Trucking Trends 2022’ takes a look back at key trucking metrics

Coming out of the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, trucking industry activity looked more like it did in pre-pandemic times, to be sure. That is backed up by some key data points, in the form of the “American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Trends 2022,” which was released earlier this month.  

“Trends” essentially serves as the ATA’s annual report as its annual data compendium regarding the trucking sector. ATA officials view the publication as indispensable for use by motor carriers, industry suppliers, logistics providers, analysts, and public policy makers, among other stakeholders.

The report, as always, does a great job of explaining some key themes and trends within the trucking industry over the course of 2021.

A key finding was that ATA reported that the trucking industry moved a whopping 10.93 million tons of freight in 2021, ahead of 2020’s pandemic-driven 10.23 tons. And perhaps even more telling, trucking collected 80.8% of the entire United States freight bill in 2021, which was up modestly compared to 2020, on the road to generating $875.5 billion.

On a personnel perspective, ATA reported that the trucking industry employed 7.99 million people in what ATA called “industry-related jobs,” a gain of 340,000 annually, with that tally including 3.49 million drivers. And women accounted for 7.9% of drivers, which ATA said represents an all-time high, with minorities representing 46.1% of all drivers.

What’s more, the report reinforced how, at the end of the day, trucking is and still remains, what ATA called a small business industry, with 95.7% of fleets operating 10 or fewer trucks, and nearly all fleets—at 99.7%—operating less than 100 trucks.

Looking at trucking through an USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement) perspective, ATA observed that trucks handled 66.1% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada and also 82.7% of cross-border trade with Mexico, cumulatively accounting for $828 billion in total goods value.  

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello described the report as a valuable resource to track changes in the trucking industry.

“This year’s report found that despite a challenging environment, trucking did experience growth and maintained its position as the dominant freight mode,” said Costello.

More information about the “American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Trends 2022” can be found by clicking here.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman




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