Transportation pocket guide chockful of trucking-related stats

January 10, 2020

Tyson Fisher


How many miles are people driving a year? Is truck tonnage up or down? Are bridge conditions getting any better? Find answers to those questions and many more in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Pocket Guide to Transportation 2020.

On Thursday, Jan. 9, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics released the latest Pocket Guide to Transportation. The reference guide is jam-packed with the latest numbers in a variety of categories related to transportation.

The pocket guide is split into eight categories:

  • Major trends.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Moving people.
  • Moving goods.
  • Safety.
  • Performance.
  • Economy.
  • Environment.

BTS uses the latest numbers available. In some cases, stats are as recent as September 2019. On the other hand, 2017 represents the latest complete data in some categories.

Information relevant to the trucking category can be found in all eight categories in the pocket guide.

Moving Goods may be the most relevant section for truckers. That category includes numbers on freight shipments by mode, top five truck ports of entry and NAFTA trade by mode.

To find truck tonnage from January 2000 to September 2019, go to the Major Trends section. According to the guide, tonnage has been steadily growing since the recession.

In the Infrastructure section, stats include the number of registered vehicles and the number of structurally deficient bridges. Data shows that the number of bridges in poor condition is trending downward.

Moving People has information on vehicle-miles traveled, highway travel and the top five land ports of entry. One chart reveals that VMT went up 7% for light-duty vehicles in 2017 compared with 2007. However, VMT for trucks in the same time frame went down by about 2%.

Transportation Services Index numbers for freight are in the Economy section. Like truck tonnage, TSI has been trending upward since the recession in 2009:

Transportation fatalities are under the Safety section. In fact, those are the same numbers reported by Land Line in October and in the December-January issue. Want to know the top 10 metro area congestion rankings? Check out the Performance tab.

Lastly, the Environment section has a wealth of information regarding energy consumption and emissions. For the most part, all represented highway vehicle air pollutant emissions have gone down significantly since at least 2002.

To dive deeper into the numbers, check out the full pocket guide via the web app, Apple smartphone app or the Android app. Also, printed copies can be obtained texting USDOT BTSPG to 468311 or by clicking here.

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.