Trucking Industry Statistics & Trends for 2023
The trucking industry is the backbone of every other major industry in the United States. These major industries rely on trucking to transport freight throughout their entire production cycle, from transporting raw materials to delivering items to consumers.
The latest trucking industry statistics and trends reveal that the United States continues to depend on trucking and that we can expect increased demand for trucking in 2023.
2023 Trucking Industry Statistics
Trucking industry data from American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show steady industry growth, which helps offset increased operation costs in the industry.
Here’s a look at trucks on the road in 2021 and 2022:
- Trucks transported 80.7% ($940.8 billion) of domestic gross freight revenue in 2022 (ATA)
- Trucks transported 11.46 billion tons of freight (72.6% of total domestic tonnage) in 2022 (ATA)
- 13.86 million single-unit (two axles, six tires or more) and combination trucks were registered in 2021 (ATA)
- 5% of all motor vehicles registered in 2021 were trucks (ATA)
Employment in the trucking industry has also increased:
- In 2022, 8.4 million people were employed in jobs related to trucking (ATA)
- In 2022, 3.54 million people were employed as truck drivers (ATA)
- The number of truck drivers increased by 1.5% from 2021 (ATA)
- Tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers earned an average hourly wage of $26.37 in 2022 (BLS)
- Tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers earned an average annual wage of $54,850 in 2022 (BLS)
These recent trucking industry statistics paint a picture of what we can expect from the future of the trucking industry.
4 Trucking Industry Trends for 2023
Looking at 2023 and beyond, we expect to see these trends present throughout the trucking industry.
- Increased Demand for Drivers
The demand for truck drivers remains high. According to the ATA’s 2022 driver shortage report, there is a shortage of 78,000 drivers, which makes 2022 the second highest on record, closely following 2021’s drive shortage of 81, 258 drivers.
Additionally, the ATA estimates that truck driver shortage numbers could exceed 160,000 by 2031—meaning the industry will need to recruit around 1.2 million new drivers over the next 10 years to compensate for the shortage as well as industry growth, retired drivers, and drivers leaving the industry.
- Rising Costs
The trucking industry is not immune to inflation and other economic factors driving increased expenses across the board. In 2023, as with previous years, drivers and carriers will likely still have to grapple with the higher fuel prices and rising cost of insurance premiums.
- Continued Focus on Safety
Safety will continue to be a focus of trucking carriers and freight businesses. Expect to see a continued focus on safety practices, such as improving driver conduct and keeping up with routine vehicle maintenance, in order to prevent increased insurance costs and to preserve trucking equipment.
- Reliance on Technology
Carriers, freight companies, and fleet managers will increasingly rely on advancements in technology that can be used to streamline business practices, manage routes, track driver conduct, and schedule routine maintenance. In the coming years, this type of software will be fundamental to how carriers manage fleets.
Apply to Be a Truck Driver at BT Trucking
The demand for experienced truck drivers continues to grow. Now is the time to join this thriving industry.
At BT Trucking, we are proud to serve the transportation community. Our family-owned business has been a leader in providing transportation logistics solutions to our customers since 1988. Mile after mile, we provide stability to and build long-term relationships with customers, vendors, and drivers across the Midwest and Southwest regions.
If you are interested in owning your own truck or applying to work as a driver, we can help. Our lease purchase program will start you down the road to success. We are dedicated to the success of our drivers, and we are determined to provide you with the tools and support you need to succeed.