The trucking industry is vital to the global economy, transporting goods across vast distances and keeping the wheels of commerce turning. As we enter the second half of 2023, it’s crucial to understand the latest trends and statistics shaping the industry. From economic impact and contributions to the American workforce to the ongoing driver shortage and rising fuel prices, there are a variety of factors affecting the trucking industry today.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key trucking industry statistics in 2023 and explore the trends shaping this critical sector’s future. Whether you’re a trucking industry insider or simply interested in learning more about this critical industry, read on to discover the insights you need to know.
Key Trucking Industry Statistics 2023
- The US trucking industry generates over $700 billion in annual revenue
- There are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers employed in the US
- 72% of professional truck drivers are white
- Most truck drivers are between the ages of 45 to 54
Economic Impact of the Trucking Industry: Contributions to Jobs and GDP
The trucking industry is enormous, with millions of professional truck drivers and vehicles transporting goods across the country daily.
The trucking industry is expected to grow despite the threat of recession as demand for freight transportation services increases. In 2023, an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers are employed in the US alone. These drivers operate over 4 million trucks, moving an incredible 10.5 billion tons of freight each year.
The trucking industry has a massive impact on the economy, contributing over $700 billion in annual revenue to the GDP, with the local freight trucking industry valued at $91.7 billion in 2023. This impact is felt in almost every sector of our economy, from agriculture and manufacturing to retail and eCommerce.
Truck Driving Job Statistics
As of 2023, there are roughly 1.2 million for-hire trucking companies operating in the US. Long-distance freight businesses account for approximately 570,921, increasing at an annual rate of 4.5% between 2018 to 2023.
Professional Truck Driver Statistics by Gender
According to a 2022 report by the American Trucking Associations, only 8% of all professional truck drivers are women.
The overwhelming discrepancies between truck driver demographics may be due to a lack of infrastructure, gender pay gap inequalities, trucking lifestyle requirements, and other factors hindering the accessibility of truck driving jobs for new drivers.
Truck Driver Statistics by Race and Ethnicity
A trucking industry report by Zippia states that most professional truck drivers in America are white, accounting for roughly 72% of the workforce.
- 12% are Black or African American
- 8% are Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish
- 5% account for other races and ethnic demographics
Professional Truck Driver Statistic by Age
The same Zippia report found that the average age of professional truck drivers is between 45 to 54, with 26% of the overall demographic. This statistic is followed closely by drivers between the ages of 35 to 44 and 55 to 64, each accounting for 21%.
Truck Driver Pay Statistics
The average truck driver salary in the US is $62,548 annually, with entry-level positions starting at $48,750 and experienced truck drivers making an average salary of $88,392.
With the growing truck driver shortage set to increase, logistics companies are beginning to increase pay and offer better benefits packages to attract and retain truck drivers.
Environmental Impact of the US trucking industry
The trucking industry takes a significant toll on the environment, with emissions from diesel engines contributing to air pollution and climate change.
The trucking industry consumes around 54.3 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and CO2 emissions represent roughly 97% of the global warming potential of all greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
In 2021, CO2 emissions from transportation in the US totaled 1.7 billion metric tons, the most from any sector of the economy.
In 2023, the industry will continue to focus on reducing its environmental impact, with increasing adoption of alternative fuels and technologies such as electric and hybrid vehicles. Companies will need to balance ecological concerns with the need to remain competitive and profitable.
Trucking Industry Trends to Watch in 2023
The trucking industry has faced multiple challenges recently, including rising fuel prices, increasing insurance claims, and driver shortages. The prevalence of these issues will continue to affect the industry’s future.
The American Transportation Research Institute’s report found that insurance premiums cost per mile increased by 47% between 2010 and 2023. This accounts for covering rising payout and litigation costs, forcing transportation companies of all sizes to face financial uncertainty.
The threat of theft, increasing costs of commodities, labor and repairs, medical treatment, and litigation fees will likely affect insurance premiums.
Truck Driver Shortages
The ATA estimates that the truck driver shortage will decrease by 20%, dropping from 78,000 drivers in 2022 to 64,000 drivers in 2023. While this may seem like a positive step in the right direction, the shortage of truck drivers this year is expected to hinder the industry’s growth as the demand for goods increases and the aging workforce starts to retire.
According to various reports, consumer and freight demand will increase again after the recession, projecting a shortage of 82,000 truck drivers in 2024 and 160,000 drivers in by 2028
Rising Fuel Prices
With fuel costs skyrocketing, oil is expected to reach $92.36 per barrel, a near $20 increase from the prices of 2021.
Gas prices may reach a high of $3.51/gallon, which is $0.41 lower than in 2022. However, prices are likely to increase, affecting logistics operations across the nation.
The State of the Trucking in 2023
The logistics and transportation industry are a vital component of our economy, and understanding the latest trends and statistics is essential for companies and individuals operating in this space. In 2023, the industry is expected to face new challenges and opportunities driven by technology, regulation, and changing customer demands. By staying current on these trends, companies can position themselves for success in the years ahead.
Join Warrior Logistics
Warrior Logistics is the leading linehaul freight contractor powering one of the world’s largest shipping companies, FedEx Ground. Our strategic and ongoing expansion means we operate across the US with over 100 trucks and 150+ team members driving over 12 million miles annually. What sets us apart is our commitment to our Truck Warriors. We’re on a mission of servant leadership that puts people at the heart of everything we do.
If you’re looking for a lucrative, stable, and rewarding career as a professional truck driver, consider joining the Warrior Logistics family and apply today!