Research Outline

Freight Transportation Spend


To determine the freight transportation spend broken down by industry (such as NAICS breakdown) in the United States. Additional information on how this spend breaks down by geography and freight types (FTL and LTL) are also important to this research.

Early Findings

  • According to Statista, the size of the freight transportation industry in the United States was $933 billion in 2018. Less-than-truckload (LTL) accounted for $39.7 billion of this market. [If the data is not accessible on the Statista website, please visit this document for a screenshot of the same.]
  • Per the Statista report, the biggest segment of the United States freight transportation industry in 2018 was "truckload and private truckload," which accounted for $695.1 billion of the total market.
  • This resource by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) under the Department of Transportation covers the use of transportation across 20 sectors, including construction, agriculture, wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, and utilities.
  • For example, the total amount of transportation used by the wholesale trade industry was $104.7 billion, out of which in-house truck transportation accounted for $68.5 billion.
  • Per the source from the BTS, the total amount of transportation used by the manufacturing industry was $238.3 billion in 2018, out of which for-hire truck operations accounted for $96.2 billion and in-house truck transportation accounted for $49.4 billion.

Summary of Early Findings

  • Our initial findings indicate that the requested data across industry, freight types, and geography may not exist in a single source. We found different sources providing answers to different aspects of the research questions.
  • The Statista source (screenshot here) provided the total freight transportation spend broken down by segment including less-than-truckload (LTL) and parcel.
  • The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) provides the transportation spend broken down by sector and further breaks this down by the type of transportation.
  • There are also additional reports by the Department of Transportation that provides additional information on the state of freight transportation in the United States such as:

Suggested Industry

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Prepared By
Olatunji O.
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