Trucking maintained 80 percent of U.S. freight market in 2020 despite pandemic

Several trucks on roadway

COVID-19's impact on commercial freight was quantified in the latest edition of American Trucking Associations' (ATA) American Trucking Trends 2021, released this week. 

ATA reports the trucking industry moved 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020, generating $732.3 billion in revenue. ATA says that freight total was down from 11.84 billion tons the previous year, though the trucking industry still collected 80.4 percent of the nation's freight bill, unchanged from 2019. 

"We knew that the pandemic had a significant impact on our industry, but this year's trends shows that despite those challenges, the trucking industry remained our nation's lifeline  delivering the life-saving and life-sustaining essentials our country needed in a time of great need," says Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. 

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Other findings detailed in the ATA Trends report include:

  • Trucking employed 7.65 million people in industry-related jobs, including 3.36 million professional truck drivers. 
  • Women made up 7.8 percent of the nation's drivers, an all-time high, and minorities account for 42.3 percent of truck drivers. 
  • Trucking remains a small business industry: 91.5 percent of fleets operate six or fewer trucks, and 97.4 percent operate less than 20. 
  • Trucks moved 70.9 percent of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada and 83.8 percent of cross-border trade with Mexico, for a total of $695 billion worth of goods.

"Having good data is a prerequisite to making good decisions – and year in and year out, Trends provides the kind of up-to-date, accurate data about the industry that decision makers need," says ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.

ATA says American Trucking Trends is available for purchase now at

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