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Logistics in the U.S. – Facts at a Glance

Logistics in the U.S. - Facts at a Glance Every facet of American life is touched by transportation. With freight being the economic staple that it is, every haul is a piece of a complex logistical puzzle that powers our nation. We’ve dug up some interesting factoids to help shed some light on just how large of a role transportation plays!

  • The US is comprised of 566 railroads (138,623 railroad miles).
  • Total 2011 U.S. logistics spend was estimated at $1.28 trillion up 6.6% over 2010.
  • According to the 2012 3PL Study, shippers who partner with third-party logistics providers report an average cost reduction of 13% and nearly two-thirds (64%) of survey respondents reported an increase in their use of outsourced logistics services.
  • 3.5 Million: The approximate number of truck drivers moving America’s freight. To put this in perspective, 1 in every 15 people working in the U.S. is employed in the trucking industry.
  • The transportation and warehousing sector totaled 4.292 million people in 2011. You can be an addition to this number, check out a career with BlueGrace Logistics!
  • Fact: Trucking is the dominate mode of transportation for our nation’s freight movement by approximately 71%.
  • 1.2 Million: The number of trucking companies operating in the U.S.
  • The highest-valued imported products in the U.S. include: agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys).
  • There are 149 ports located in the U.S.  South Louisiana, Houston, New York/New Jersey, and Long Beach often hitting the top of the list when ranked by tonnage or TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
  • American businesses transported over 19 billion tons of raw materials and finished goods in 2002, valued at $13 trillion (including domestic commodity movements and domestic transportation of exports and imports).
  • More than $1 out of every $10 produced in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is related to transportation activity.

After exposing your brain to all of this info, the importance of transportation should be crystal clear. You can see how each load is merely a link to an ever-globalizing supply chain. There’s never been a better time to get involved in this industry!

Any of these numbers surprise you? Share your logistics facts and figures with us!

Let us know what you think!

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7 Comments  comments 

7 Responses

  1. transervice

    Thanks a lot for providing knowledge about the transportation logistics..

  2. Joe Lynch

    Great article! I have struggled finding good high level stats about the logistics industry.

    I work for a 3PL and the average 13% savings is a good reference number for my sales effort. We typically save clients 7-15%.

    Thanks,

    Joe Lynch

  3. David R. Forbes, MBA

    If there are 11.2 million trucking companies in the U.S., and there are 3.5 million truck drivers, does this mean there are millions of U.S. trucking companies without drivers? Please explain this discrepancy.

    • shill

      Hi David, Whoops! That was a typo, thanks for catching it! According to the source, there are 1.2 million trucking companies in the U.S. Glad you’ve enjoyed the post, we look forward to providing more insight into the logistics industry! -Samantha, Community Manager

  4. Hi Joe, yes it was fun gathering these stats about the industry. Thanks for the comment and we look forward to providing more helpful information!

    -Samantha, Community Manager

  5. That is huge Puzzle and huge amount,in Finland there is not problem about their logistics transportation in Fact it is really smooth now a days and everything is fast and under control.

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