Freight moves a variety of ways, but the most prevalent by far remains via trucking. And that cargo would never make it to its destination without the person at the wheel - the truck driver. Since 1988, American Trucking Associations has set aside a seven day period to recognize those vital contributions - known as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW). In 2023, NTADW runs from Sept. 10 - 16. While at InTek, intermodal is often top of mind - we also offer all varieties of truckload solutions. And even within an intermodal shipment, drayage truck drivers have a vital role. So let's take a moment to join in this NTDAW in appreciation of truck drivers.
Truck Drivers By the Numbers
As trucking moves the most domestic freight by far, truck drivers are then responsible to get it where it needs to go, whether long-haul or short-haul. A few key numbers to consider:
3.5 million - professional truck drivers nationwide
327.5 billion - miles traveled by trucks in 2021
750,000 - active U.S. motor carriers
13.85 million - trucks registered in the U.S.
11.5 billion - tons of goods and products transported via truck each year
73 - percent of total U.S. annual freight that travels by truck
Those are all pretty big numbers, with those 3.5 million truckers responsible for moving freight of all kinds, whether its food, medicine, consumer goods or industrial components. And beyond the fact that truck drivers transport nearly three-quarters of the nation's freight, 80% of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking to deliver goods. To account for all those miles traveled in a year, professional truck drivers may cover more than 800 miles in a single day over a period of up to 14 out of 24 hours.
Taking those figures a step further moves us into the economic impact of the trucking industry. Along with the truck drivers themselves, nearly 5 million additional jobs nationally are related to trucking activity. Trucking is the largest freight mode contributor to the nation's GDP, accounting for $389.3 billion in 2021. Within that figure, commercial trucks paid more than $29 billion in state and federal fuel taxes that year.
Whatever numbers you consider, it's clear truck drivers make a major impact on daily life. Just look around your home, car or workplace (and even in the mirror) each day, and you'll see plenty of items that got to where they are via truck. So this truck driver appreciation week and beyond, join us and #thankatrucker.