20+ Transportation Industry Statistics [2023]: The State of American Transportation

By Jack Flynn
Feb. 16, 2023

Research Summary: If you’ve ever left your house, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of cars and trucks in the U.S. In fact, except for major cities and towns, any other form of transportation is often non-existent in this country.

But, what is the American transportation system really like? Luckily, we’ve investigated all of the essential facts about American transportation, and according to our extensive research:

  • The U.S. transportation industry is worth $1.36 trillion as of 2022.

  • Transportation emissions account for 27% of the U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 10.68 million Americans work in the transportation & warehousing industry as of 2022.

  • The trucking industry is responsible for 72.5% of the freight carried by the transportation industry.

  • The global transportation industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38.5% through 2027.

General Transportation Industry Statistics

Clearly, transportation is an important and growing part of the modern world. To understand the industry in more detail, here are some general insights our research uncovered:

  • There are over 4.27 million transportation & warehousing industry businesses in the U.S.

    Not only is the transportation & warehousing industry one of the largest in the U.S., but the number of businesses in operation is growing at a significant rate. In 2021 alone, the number of businesses grew by 9.9%.

  • 60% of online travel searches begin on mobile.

    Mobile devices have shaped the modern transportation landscape, as only ten years ago, apps like Uber and Doordash were non-existent. Today, however, their growth can be seen in the fact that keywords like ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ relating to transportation searches have increased by 519% in the past five years.

  • In 2021 alone, U.S. trucks moved 10.93 billion tons of freight.

    While this is a huge number, it’s also worth noting that it was a 7.68% decrease from 2019, when 11.84 billion tons of freight was hauled.

  • Commercial trucks account for 24.5% of U.S. fuel consumption.

    It’s clear that commercial trucks are a crucial part of U.S. supply lines when their fuel consumption is nearly half that of cars, small trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and motorcycles combined (54.2%).

  • The U.S. public transportation system has a market size of $78.5 billion.

    However, public transportation in the U.S. isn’t growing, as in 2022, the market shrunk by -5.7%, and it’s also expected to have a CAGR of only 0.9% through 2027.

  • The U.S. trucking industry had annual revenue of $875.5 billion in 2021.

    This represents 80.4% of the country’s freight bill, which highlights the growing importance of trucking in the U.S.

Transportation Industry Statistics by Employment

The U.S. transportation industry employs tens of millions of Americans, making it one of the most important industries for employment. According to our research:

  • As of May 2022, unemployment in the U.S. transportation industry is 4.5%.

    That’s 25% higher than the national average of 3.6%, meaning that unemployment is noticeably more common in the U.S. transportation industry. Though, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment in the transportation industry was only just over 7%, compared to over 13% for the nation.

  • Over 80% of transportation industry workers have access to healthcare, paid vacation, and paid sick leave.

    In total, 83% of transportation industry workers have access to healthcare, 88% have access to paid vacation, and 84% have access to paid sick leave. Additionally, 79% also have access to a retirement plan.

    Benefits % of workers with access
    Paid vacation 88%
    Paid sick leave 84%
    Healthcare 83%
    Retirement plans 79%
  • 23.9% of U.S. transportation workers are over 55.

    Unlike other industries, the U.S. transportation industry has a large number of older workers. More specifically, a whopping 43.3% of transit workers are over 55.

  • The average U.S. trucker drives between 605-650 miles per day.

    That’s the equivalent of driving from New York City, NY, all the way to Cincinnati, OH, in just one day. Only made possible through drivers driving 55 to 60 miles per hour over an 11-hour shift.

Many businesses in the transportation industry were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we might be starting to see some signs of recovery. For instance, our research shows that:

  • The transportation sector faced a 5.6% decline in employment in 2020.

  • Between 2019-2020, the market size of the U.S. transportation industry decreased by 18.3% (from $1.42 trillion to $1.16 trillion).

  • As of 2022, 10.68 million Americans work in the transportation & warehousing industry.

  • Between 2011-2021, U.S. trucking industry revenue increased by 36.8% (from $519 million to $710 million).

    Year Trucking industry revenue (in millions)
    2021 $710M
    2020 $551M
    2019 $523M
    2018 $534M
    2017 $447M
    2016 $429M
    2015 $508M
    2014 $602M
    2013 $555M
    2012 $512M
    2011 $519M
  • The electric truck market is projected to have a CAGR of 30.15% through 2027.

  • The MaaS market is projected to reach a revenue of $40.1 billion by 2030.

Transportation Industry Statistics FAQ

  1. What is the U.S. transportation sector?

    The U.S. transportation sector is a combination of businesses that move anything from people to goods across the country. This partially explains why the industry is so massive, as companies like Uber or UPS can all be lumped into the same sector.

    However, trucking does make up a large portion of the industry, as they account for 24.5% of all U.S. fuel consumption.

  2. How big is the transportation industry in the U.S.?

    The U.S. transportation industry is big, with market size of $1.26 trillion. And that’s not all, as the industry has over 3.65 businesses under it that employ over 10 million Americans.

    On the other hand, the industry did face a decline during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic. For example, in 2020, the trucking industry hauled 10.23 billion tons of freight, but that was a 13.6% decrease from 2019 when 11.84 billion tons of freight was hauled.

  3. What is the largest transportation company?

    UPS is the largest transportation company in the world, with a revenue of $97.3 billion. UPS at large employs around 335,520 employees in various positions and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

    UPS Freight has over 200 facilities in the United States, along with over 22,000 trailers and 6,700 tractors.


Transportation is crucial in any country, but especially in one as large as the United States. Being worth at least $1.26 trillion, the industry is responsible for employing 10.68 million Americans.

And there’s a reason why people across the nation rely on the transportation industry to ship not only their goods from place to place but also themselves.

Further, with new innovations like electric trucks and transportation apps, the industry will only continue to grow, employ more workers, and become an increasingly important staple of American life.


  1. Statista. “Size of the transportation and warehousing market in the U.S. between 2019 and 2022.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  2. EPA. “Carbon Pollution from Transportation.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  3. BLS. “Employment in Transportation: Employment in Transportation and Related Industries.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  4. ATA. “News & Insights.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  5. IBISWorld. “Transportation and Warehousing in the US – Number of Businesses.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  6. CCJ. “Trucks moved less tonnage in pandemic-hampered 2020, women trucker count hit all-time high.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  7. EIA. “Use of energy explained.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  8. IBISWorld. “Public Transportation in the US.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  9. ATA. “Economics and Industry Data.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  10. BLS. “U.S. Transportation Sector Unemployment Rate of 4.5% In May 2022 Is Below the May 2021 Level of 7.9% But Just Above the Pre-Pandemic May Level of 4.3% in 2019.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  11. BLS. “Transportation and Warehousing: NAICS 48-49.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  12. LV Road. “Find Out Here How Many Miles Can a Truck Driver Drive in a Day.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  13. Macrotrends. “USA Truck Revenue 2010-2022 | USAK.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  14. Yahoo. “Global Electric Truck Market (2022 to 2027) – Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecasts.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

  15. Metro. “MaaS Market Projected to Reach $40.1 Billion by 2030.” Accessed on August 1st, 2022.

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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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