While not always front and center, it may well be impossible to overstate just how central trucking is to the American economy and to American life. While Americans often think of the nation as a country of farms and factories, as much as anything we are a country of roads.
And on those roads are millions of trucks – driven by 3.6 million professional drivers as part of an industry that employs nearly 8 million people. That industry, trucking, is the lifeblood of our economy. Powering economic growth, raising our quality of life and now, during these unprecedented times, just making life possible.
In 29 other states, trucking is the top job, but in Massachusetts, the industry employs 129,360 – making it one our state’s most common jobs. But beyond the jobs our industry creates, our industry is a lifeline for communities across our state. Today in Massachusetts, 86.9% of cities and towns are solely dependent on trucks to deliver their food, fuel, clothing, and other goods. Trucks serve as that critical connection between our homes and our jobs and the rest of the world.
Nationwide, trucks move 11.84 billion tons of freight annually – accounting for 72.5% of all freight hauled in the U.S. And as an industry, trucking had gross revenues of nearly $792 billion according to the most recent data. This would conjure images of an industry of giant companies, but trucking is a small business industry. In 2020, 91.3% of trucking companies operated six or fewer trucks; and 97.4% of fleets had 20 trucks or less. There are certainly several large and successful trucking companies that are household names, but there are many, many more smaller companies doing their part to keep America moving.
All of these companies, regardless of size, share several common values including a dedication to doing their job efficiently, but more importantly, safely. As an industry, trucking spends more than $10 billion a year in technology and training that go above and beyond what federal regulations require. The highways are our offices, and we want them to be safe for everyone.
Trucking provides jobs for men and women across the country, and those jobs deliver the quality of life Americans expect from our economy. It is an industry dedicated to service, safely connecting our factories to ports, our farms to our supermarkets and our warehouses to our front porches, keeping America moving through all manner of challenges.