Research Outline

Cyber Breaches - Vehicles


We will determine the total number of commercial vehicles in fleets in the US and their break down by type. We will also analyze the economic impact of cyber attacks on commercial vehicle fleets in the US, including the number of incidents, the type of attacks, and the total money lost by companies operating commercial fleets as a result of cyber attacks.

Early Findings

While we were able to find information on the total number of commercial vehicles in fleets in the US and their distribution by industry verticals, it was harder to find the total number of trucks or vehicles by type, as the majority of sources did not distinguish between commercial vehicles and those that are specifically part of fleets. We did, however, find a 2016 Deloitte report that discussed the number of vehicles that were sold and became part of a fleet of vehicles. It is also important to note that we have used the official definition by the BLS to represent a commercial fleet, which states that only commercial companies that have 15 vehicles or more are considered as having an operational fleet.

Number of commercial vehicles in fleets in the US

  • According to the BLS, there were about 8.14 million commercial trucks and cars in a fleet of over 15 vehicles in the US in 2019.
  • About 3.4 million of those were car fleets, distributed between government (about 1.168 million units), business (626,000 units), and rental fleets (1.63 million units).
  • Over 4.74 million commercial trucks that are in a fleet of 15 or more units were registered in the US in 2019.
  • Those include light trucks (classes 1 and 2) and heavy-duty trucks (classes 3 to 8).
  • The majority of the trucks were used in business operations (about 2.445 million units) and by the government (1.75 million units). A small number, about 525,000 units, were used in the rental business.
  • According to Deloitte, in 2016, about 14% of the sales were allocated to cars, 62% of the sales in the fleet market were for light-duty trucks, and 24% of the sales went to heavy-duty trucks.
  • Assuming that the share of the sales of light-duty and heavy-duty in the US remained similar, about 72.1% of all fleet truck sales (62% / 86%) were made for light-duty trucks and only about 27.9% (24% / 86%)of the total fleet truck sales in the US are for heavy-duty trucks.

Cyber attacks on commercial fleets

  • According to Mark Murrell, co-owner of the online truck driving training provider CarriersEdge, noted that distribution companies that own truck fleets have been a big target for cyber attacks in the recent years due to their weak IT policies and management.
  • In the beginning of 2019, J&M Tank Lines, a Birmingham, Alabama-based distribution company, was held captive for four days by a ransomware attack, preventing them from billing clients and paying drivers on time.
  • Roadrunner Transportation also experienced a malware attack in September 2019, costing them over $8 million in lost production and server downtime.