2020 has been a year of upheaval for the trucking industry. The pandemic has put a lot of stress on a trucking industry already being put to the test.
However, it hasn’t all been bad news. Continue reading below to see 11 interesting statistics about the current state of the trucking industry.
1. Not Enough Drivers
There’s been a severe driver shortage in the trucking industry since 2018. Currently, it’s estimated that the industry needs at least 100,000 more drivers.
Companies are having a hard time attracting and retaining truck drivers during this dire time.
2. CDL Training Dropping
To make the driver shortage worse, the rates of commercial driver’s license (CDL) training is also dropping. Since 2019, there’s been a 40% decrease in applications for the CDL.
The reason behind this is that the pandemic has shut down many driver training schools.
3. Spot Market Remains High
The spot market has done well this year since the industry was leaning on it. After April, the spot market has remained well above $2 per mile.
In December, the spot market has had an over 100% increasein price since last year.
4. Trucking Is Big Business
It’s estimated that jobs related to the trucking industry account for nearly 5.8% of all full-time jobs in America. That’s 7.95 million people who are committed to keeping the trucking industry in the US moving.
5. Trucks Move (Almost) Everything
Trucking is responsible for moving most freight around the country, and it’s said that every good you purchase was on a truck at some point.
Last year, 72.5% of all freight transported—about 11.84 billion tons—was through the trucking industry.
6. The Lifeblood of the Economy
The trucking industry is a goliath of wealth in the US and takes in approximately $791.7 billion per year.
7. Many Miles
Trucks move goods all across the country, and statistics show that all registered trucks combined drive over 300 billion miles each year.
8. Mostly Small Operations
There are almost 2 million different carriers in the US split between those on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and private carriers.
About 91.3% of carriers operate 6 or fewer trucks, and 97.4% use fewer than 20 trucks.
9. E-Commerce Is Booming
The pandemic has led to an explosion in e-commerce, which was already growing rapidly year-after-year. E-commerce sales were approximately 581 billion in the first three quarters of 2020.
That means that the medium-duty truck market is having a much higher demand than in previous years.
10. Insurance Rates Skyrocket
Insurance rates have been climbing for years due to huge settlements against carriers. In 2018 insurance costs were about 8.4 cents per mile.
However, premiums are rising on average 12% per year, and some carriers are facing a 20% to 30% increase each year.
11. Low Annual Income
Despite the demand for drivers, and some truckers making nearly $100,000 per year, the average driver’s income remains low.
The median American income is $46,800 per year, while the average trucker salary is $43,680.
A Tough Year
It’s been a bumpy year, and many people in the trucking industry are looking forward to 2021. Although the pandemic disrupted nearly every industry in the US, the trucking industry has recovered fast and is on track to do better next year.