20 fascinating freight shipping statistics.

May 7, 2015

Freight shipping's role in commerce has developed alongside business growth, and that business growth is driven by buyers who expect their goods to be delivered in a timely manner. To be frank, freight shipping keeps the United States' wheels turning. We've put together a list of 20 fascinating freight shipping statistics that clearly illustrate freight shipping's role in the economy.



  • As of 2014, 118.7 million households, 7.4 million businesses and 89,004 governmental units are part of an economy that demands efficient freight shipping. (Tweet this)
  • The U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015. (Tweet this)
  • The 54 million tons of freight moved in 2012 was valued at nearly $48 billion. (Tweet this)
  • 7.3 million people were employed throughout the economy in jobs that relate to trucking activity in 2014. (Tweet this)
  • There were about 3.5 million truck drivers in 2015. (Tweet this)


Tonnage and value.

  • The U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 54 million tons of freight in 2012. (Tweet this)
  • The value of freight is expected to outpace the weight in the foreseeable future, rising from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040. (Tweet this)
  • By 2040, imports and exports are expected to account for 19% of the tons and 31% of the value. (Tweet this)



  • Trucks move 84% of freight less than 750 miles on average. (Tweet this)
  • Freight moved more than 2,000 miles accounts for less than 2% of total tonnage. (Tweet this)
  • About 50% of all trucks usually travel to destinations within 50 miles of their origin. (Tweet this)
  • Rail transport accounts for 37% of freight moved between 750 and 2,000 miles. (Tweet this)
  • Trucks hauling semi-trailers accounted for about 63% of commercial truck travel in 2011. (Tweet this)
  • By 2040, long-haul freight shipping by truck in the U.S. may reach 460 million miles per day. (Tweet this)


Materials being shipped.

  • The top 10 commodities shipped by weight are made up of bulk products and accounted for 64% of the total tonnage moved in 2013. (Tweet this)
  • More than 70% of the nation's coal moves by rail. (Tweet this)
  • Flammable liquids account for around 66.5% of hazardous material shipments in 2012. (Tweet this)
  • Rail moves 58% of the United States' raw metal ores. (Tweet this)
  • Gases account for about 10.8% of shipped hazardous materials in 2012. (Tweet this)
  • Rail moves 30% of the United States' grain. (Tweet this)


As seen by the above statistics, freight shipping plays a critical role in the American economy. Businesses are expanding and so are the expectations of their clients. As this progression occurs, freight shipping will likely remain the engine that drives us. Feel free to share some interesting stats of your own with us!


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