The trucking industry in the United States is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The  US trucking industry accounts for more than 5% of all the full-time  jobs in America, even though truckers    themselves earn a  lower-than-average wage.

 The United States is hugely  dependent on truckers.

The  US trucking industry accounts for more than 5% of all the full-time  jobs in America, even though truckers    themselves earn a  lower-than-average wage.

Data show that trucking moves 71%  of all the freight in America, and  nearly 6% of all the full-time  jobs in the country are in the trucking  industry.

The industry employs millions of  drivers and  generates hundreds of billions of dollars in annual  revenue. It serves  as the vital lifeline between producers and  consumers when it comes to  everything from gasoline to gallons of  milk.

While the trucking  industry is  now decades old, it remains dynamic, with constant demand  from  consumers keeping trucking as vital to the economy as  ever.

Read on for 11 facts you might  not know about the US trucking industry.

1. In 2017, the American trucking industry posted revenues higher than the GDP of more than 150 nations.

In 2017, the US trucking  industry   generated just over $700  billion. That was more  than the entire GDP of Bangladesh, and slightly less than the GDP  of Colombia,   according to the CIA Factbook.

Were the industry a nation, it  would have ranked 33rd in GDP that year.

2. Approximately 5.8% of all full-time jobs in America are related to trucking

According to Bureau of Labor  Statistics, in 2018  there were about 129 million full-time jobs in America. That same  year,   approximately 7.4 million  people were employed  by the trucking industry. That means about 5.8% of all American  full-time workers had a job thanks to trucking.

3. Walmart alone employs more than 8,600 truckers

In recent years, Walmart has been  turning away from third-party contracts and   employing its own truckers,  including a hiring surge of more than 1,400  new drivers brought on in  2018  and hundreds more so far in 2019. Walmart truckers  earn on  average nearly $88,000  per year,   CBS reported.

4. In 2017, trucks moved 10.8 billion tons of freight

 According to American Trucking Associations, US trucks moved  10.8 billion tons of freight in 2017.

That equates to about 30 pounds  worth of goods for every man, woman, and child in the  country.

5. And trucks move more than 70% of all goods transported around the United States

Trucking accounts for the vast  majority of freight in America,   with trucks carrying almost 71% of the tonnage moved about the  country. That far  surpasses trains, boats, and air when it comes to moving cargo  around the nation.

6. More than 40% of the jobs in the American trucking industry are held by minorities

Trucking is a surprisingly  egalitarian industry, with   40.6% of all trucking jobs held  by minorities.  This  far outpaces the national average when all jobs are compared –   overall, minorities hold just 22% of jobs in this country,    according to the Bureau of Labor  Statistics.

7. Not one of the regulators charged with overseeing the trucking industry was ever a truck driver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety  Administration is charged with  managing the laws and regulations  that control trucking in America. But    not one of its four  administrators has ever held a commercial driver’s  license or had any  background in the trucking industry.

8. Most grocery stores would run out of food in just three days if long-haul truckers stopped driving

It might seem like food supplies  on supermarket shelves are  boundless, always there when you need  them. But in fact, experts  predict that most grocery stores would  start running out of food   just three days after long-haul  truckers stopped working.

9. Many experts think the trucking industry needs to hire 900,000 more drivers

In 2018, the American Trucking  Associations released a statement saying the industry needed to  hire   almost 900,000 more  drivers to meet the  growing demands put on the industry.

However, not everyone is  agreement with the state of the industry. A  Bureau of Labor  Statistics report published earlier this year said the  apparent  shortage of drivers   may actually be overblown.

10. Truck drivers earn less than most Americans in terms of annual income

Despite all the chatter about the  growing trucking industry and the  need for drivers, it’s not the  most lucrative line of work.   According to the Bureau of Labor  Statistics, in 2018,  the median income was about $46,800 per year, while median annual  wage for truckers was    $43,680.

11. The average professional long-haul trucker logs more than 100,000 miles per year

Given   restrictions on how many hours a driver can log   in a given day (and in a given  week), most drivers will average about  2,000 and 3,000 miles a  week. Over the course of the year, that a  trucker’s mileage total  can easily exceed 100,000 miles.

For comparison, the average US  motorist drives about   13,500 miles a year.

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