Freight Facts and Figures 2019

The freight industry has been an under appreciated, but essential component of the US transportation economy.  Recognizing that without an established freight system, goods would not be able be transported to and from a country.   Below we have summarized some of the key freight industry statistics.    

The Most Amazing Freight Statistics 

  • Trucks move roughly 71.4% of total freight weight in the US
  • In 2018, $796.7 billion in freight revenues came from trucking, reflecting 80.3% of the total annual spend
  • 36 million trucks are registered for business purposes, reflecting 24% of total registered trucks 
  • The transportation industry employs more than 5 million people and accounts for 8.9 percent of U.S. GDP
  • 7.8 million people are employed in jobs related to the trucking space (this excludes those that are self-employed)
  • There are 892,078 for-hire carriers registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration based on data from the US Department of Transportation in May 2019 
  • There were nearly 3 million truck drivers in 2017 with 57 percent driving heavy or tractor trailer trucks, 29 percent driving light service or delivery trucks, and 14 percent as driver or sales workers.
  • Air transport has seen a decline in number of workers, roughly 20% between 2000 and 2017
  • However, broad employment in the truck, rail, water and pipeline industry has grown
  • Trucking reflected 28.1% of transportation and warehousing sector employment in 2017 
  • Freight revenue from Class I railroads was $67.3bn in 2017 with 147,537 employees


  1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Freight Facts and Figures (Washington, DC: 2019).

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