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24 CHAPTER 4 THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY INTRODUCTION which is consistent with FMCSA's definition of a commer- cial motor vehicle (49 CFR 390.5). Figure 25 shows exam- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ples of trucks by vehicle manufacturer class. uses the Motor Carrier Management Information System As shown in Table 23, the Federal Highway Administra- (MCMIS) to manage data on the commercial vehicle opera- tion uses a different classification system, set by pavement tors under its oversight. Information in MCMIS is obtained engineers and based on axles and body type. However, since from the MCS-150 Form filed by motor carriers when apply- most trucking statistics are reported by weight, the vehicle ing for a U.S. DOT number. The form requires companies to manufacturer classification system is used in this report. describe their operating and cargo classifications, as well as The following sections describe the trucking industry size to identify the number and types of vehicles operated. Only and segmentation, safety statistics, and economic indicators. companies traveling interstate or with hazardous cargo are required to register with FMCSA and are therefore captured in MCMIS. MCMIS includes intrastate carriers for selected INDUSTRY SIZE AND EXTENT states as well, although coverage for intrastate carriers is incomplete on a national scale. For this study, trucking com- Carriers by Size panies were defined in MCMIS as firms operating a greater number of trucks and tractors than buses. Data in Table 24 and Figure 26 were obtained from MCMIS. MCMIS is the most comprehensive source for trucking According to this database (which includes all interstate but industry statistics, but does not include all intrastate trucking only selected intrastate trucking firms), there are more than operators. This is a key data limitation; because the number 612,000 trucking firms with business activities in the United of operators and vehicles in the trucking industry is much States, that own over 2.6 million trucks and tractors and lease larger than in the motorcoach or school bus contractor indus- an additional 840,000. Nearly 290,000 of these firms offer tries, it is easier for trucking industry associations to rely on for-hire service. MCMIS for industry statistics rather than attempt a compre- Over one-half of the trucking operators in MCMIS that hensive independent survey on a national scale. As a result, provided fleet data operate a single vehicle and, of these, there is no complete information on the intrastate trucking about 94 percent are owneroperators. About 85 percent of industry nationwide. Another limitation is that detailed finan- all trucking firms that provided fleet data to MCMIS operate cial and operating data for trucking companies are typically five or fewer vehicles. taken from the Motor Carrier Annual Report, a filing required American Trucking Associations, Inc., (ATA) used MCMIS by FMCSA for all motor carriers with revenue exceeding as of August 2002 to develop a total industry estimate of $3 million. Although this information is very detailed, it may 585,677 trucking firms operating in the United States. For not accurately represent the financial and operating profiles industry estimates by fleet size, ATA used the Motor Carrier for small trucking operators. Although industry size and eco- Annual Report, which is derived from U.S. DOT filings by car- nomic information for the trucking industry may not cover all riers with at least $3 million in annual revenue. Table 25 com- intrastate trucking operators, the safety statistics do represent pares MCMIS data for the three fleet-size categories used in the the entire trucking vehicle population. ATA study: more than 20, 7 to 20, and 6 or fewer vehicles. Both Vehicle manufacturers classify trucks into eight types analyses show that the industry is highly fragmented, with most according to their gross vehicle weight rating, as shown in firms operating six or fewer vehicles. Since the Motor Carrier Table 22. Classes I and II include trucks sold at dealerships Annual Report only applies to carriers with greater than $3 mil- to the general public. Classes III and higher include trucks lion in annual revenue, it is likely that small carriers are not more often used for commercial delivery and long-haul trans- accounted for in the ATA analysis. ATA's analysis also portation purposes. For safety statistics, the National High- excludes Canadian and Mexican firms operating in the United way Traffic Safety Administration defines "large trucks" as States. These factors help explain why the ATA analysis results Classes III and higher (weighing more than 10,000 pounds), in fewer small trucking firms than reported in MCMIS.
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25 TABLE 22 Vehicle manufacturer truck classifications Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Truck Type (Pounds) Category Class I 0-6,000 Light Duty Class II 6,001-10,000 Light Duty Class III 10,001-14,000 Medium Duty Class IV 14,001-16,000 Medium Duty Class V 16,001-19,500 Medium Duty Class VI 19,501-26,000 Medium Duty Class VII 26,001-33,000 Heavy Duty Class VIII 33,001-150,000 Heavy Duty Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, http://hotmix.ce.washington.edu/wsdot_web/. Heavy Duty (Class VII Heavy Duty or VIII) Truck (Class VII or VIII) Truck Medium Duty (Class IIIVI) Truck Figure 25. Vehicle manufacturer truck classifications. TABLE 23 Federal Highway Administration vehicle classifications Class Type 1 Motorcycles 2 Passenger Cars 3 Other Two-Axle, Four-Tire, Single-Unit Vehicles 4 Buses 5 Two-Axle, Six-Tire, Single-Unit Trucks 6 Three-Axle, Single-Unit Trucks 7 Four-or-More-Axle, Single-Unit Trucks 8 Four-or-Less-Axle, Single-Trailer Trucks 9 Five-Axle, Single-Trailer Trucks 10 Six-or-More-Axle, Single-Trailer Trucks 11 Five-or-Less-Axle, Multi-Trailer Trucks 12 Six-Axle, Multi-Trailer Trucks 13 Seven-or-More-Axle, Multi-Trailer Trucks Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, http://hotmix.ce.washington.edu/wsdot_web/. Geographic Distribution · West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, The trucking industry also can be described based on the Washington, Wyoming; geographic locations of each firm, as shown in Table 26 and · Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Figure 27, excluding 101,686 firms without geographic infor- Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, mation. Geographic locations were established by the MCMIS South Dakota, Wisconsin; carrier address, and may or may not reflect the actual operat- · South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Colum- ing region of the company. In addition, MCMIS does not bia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, include all intrastate firms. Census Bureau regions were used Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, to define geographic areas as follows: Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia;
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26 TABLE 24 Number of trucking firms, trucks/tractors owned, and trucks/tractors owned/operated by fleet size, 2000 Number of Number of Trucks/Tractors Number of Firms Trucks/Tractors Owned Owned/Operated Fleet Size All For-Hire All For-Hire All For-Hire 1,000+ 208 124 591,618 413,702 758,056 537,154 500-999 300 190 137,484 78,443 206,455 128,928 100-499 2,843 1,743 358,249 188,572 556,610 339,736 50-99 4,089 2,460 187,679 101,878 279,206 167,638 25-49 8,789 5,087 207,100 107,743 296,956 170,981 10-24 28,807 14,578 318,718 152,837 421,257 213,955 6-9 32,746 14,220 190,714 80,798 233,626 100,870 2-5 172,004 67,786 428,684 168,817 492,491 193,548 1 261,299 125,635 245,284 120,317 261,297 125,468 Subtotal (firms with fleet data) 511,085 231,825 2,665,530 1,413,107 3,505,954 1,978,278 Unknown fleet size 101,686 57,825 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Total 612,771 289,650 2,665,530+ 1,413,107+ 3,505,954+ 1,978,278+ Note: This table excludes 595 firms with equal-sized bus and trucking operations. Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Motor Carrier Management and Information System, 2000. · Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New U.S. Postal Service. A single firm can be classified in multi- Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode ple segments. For example, a firm could offer general for-hire Island, Vermont; services as well as government trucking services. Data in these · Canada; tables and figures cover all interstate firms and selected intra- · Mexico; and state firms. · Other: Puerto Rico, U.S. territories (including the U.S. Within for-hire interstate carriers, firms can be classified Virgin Islands and the Northern Marinara Islands). by type of freight hauled. According to the Federal Highway Administration's Quick Response Freight Manual, truckload Carriers by Segment carriers operate either with loads in excess of 10,000 pounds (per load) or with a load that allows no other load to be carried. Table 27 describes the trucking industry by segment and Less-than-truckload carriers operate with loads less than fleet size, including the 101,686 carriers with no fleet size 10,000 pounds (per load) and with a load that allows other loads information. The industry segments shown are used by FMCSA to be carried, excluding package carriers. Truckload carriers as regulatory classifications. Private trucking firms use trucks can further be classified into general truckload carriers and in their business activities and do not offer services to the specialized truckload carriers. Types of specialized carriers general public. For-hire trucking firms offer transportation include tank, refrigerated, and household goods carriers. services for compensation. Government trucking firms carry Figure 28 shows the distribution of carriers by type of cargo for local, state, or federal governments, including the load within the for-hire segment of the trucking industry. To develop these statistics, ATA used reports based on U.S. 1% Department of Transportation filings by carriers with at least 2% 6% $3 million in annual revenue, excluding household goods 6% carriers. As a result, the figure only applies to large, for-hire 50+ trucking operators and may not accurately represent the for- 25-49 hire segment profiles of small trucking operators that com- 10-24 51% 6-9 34% 2-5 TABLE 25 Comparison of ATA (2002) and MCMIS (2000) data 1 Fleet Size ATA 2002 MCMIS 2000 More than 20 7.2% 3.8% 7 to 20 11.7% 9.0% Note: A total of 511,085 firms is represented. This chart 6 or fewer 81.1% 87.1% excludes 595 firms with equal-sized bus and trucking operations and 101,686 firms with unknown information. Total firms 585,677 612,771 Source: FMCSA MCMIS, 2000. Note: The MCMIS total excludes 595 firms with equal-sized bus and trucking operations. Figure 26. Percentage of trucking firms by fleet Source: American Trucking Associations, Inc. American Trucking Trends size owned/operated, 2000. 2003; FMCSA MCMIS, 2000.