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9 Trucking Industry Statistics in Canada: 2024 Update

trucks on express way

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

One thing that the global pandemic should have taught us is how important the trucking industry is for our survival. We rely so heavily on the men and women driving trucks across Canada to bring us food and other necessities.

Important or not, the trucking industry is still a business, and the goal is to make a profit. And there is no question about whether or not it is profitable. This article looks at ten statistics demonstrating how profitable and massive this industry is.

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The 9 Trucking Industry Statistics in Canada

  1. In 2019, shipping within the province accounted for 43.6% of all operating revenue for Canadian trucking companies.
  2. Over 134,000 trucking companies were active in 2019 within Canada.
  3. International shipments leaving Canada in 2019 accounted for 18.7% of shipping revenue.
  4. In 2018, the trucking industry produced over $39.5 billion by moving more than 63.7 million shipments.
  5. As of 2021, reports indicate that just over 324,000 truck drivers are employed in Canada.
  6. In 2020, the average hourly wage in the trucking industry was $25.46
  7. Transport truck drivers comprise 43% of the industry’s workforce.
  8. Partway through 2021, a report showed a 20% increase in driver vacancies, bringing it up to 22,990.
  9. 90% of all food and consumer products are shipped via freight truck.
CANADIAN_TRUCKING_INDUSTRY_FACTS_&_STATISTICS
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Operations

1. In 2019, shipping within the province accounted for 43.6% of all operating revenue for Canadian trucking companies.

(StatCan)

There are several types of shipping companies. Some trucks travel internationally, for example, between Canada and the United States. But in 2019, nearly half of all shipping took place within each province, known as intraprovincial shipping. This accounted for a large portion of the overall operating revenue of Canadian trucking companies.

trucks travelling on the road
Image Credit: s_oleg, Shutterstock

2. Over 134,000 trucking companies were active in 2019 within Canada.

(StatCan)

The fact that so many trucking companies operate should give you an idea of just how important they are. Another proof of their importance is the healthy profits. The 134,000 trucking companies had an operational revenue of $67.8 billion with operating expenses of around $59.8. This means that there was an $8 billion profit that year, and those profits show no signs of slowing down.


3. International shipments leaving Canada in 2019 accounted for 18.7% of shipping revenue.

(StatCan)

As much as we need inter and intraprovincial shipments, a huge part of Canada’s healthy economy is exporting and importing goods. International shipments out of the country accounted for nearly 20% of the shipping revenue. In dollars, this was around $11.8 billion of the overall revenue.

truck travelling on the road
Image Credit: Piqsels

4. In 2018, the trucking industry produced over $39.5 billion by moving more than 63.7 million shipments.

(Statista)

One thing that makes 2019’s revenue crazy is the significant jump in revenue over 2018. Since 2009, annual revenue and shipments have been increasing steadily, usually several billion dollars per year. However, between 2018 at $39.5 billion and 2019 at $67.8 billion, we had nearly a $30 billion jump in revenue. This significant jump also likely created additional profits.

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Employment

5. As of 2021, reports indicate that just over 324,000 truck drivers are employed in Canada.

(Statista)

One great thing about the trucking industry is the number of jobs it creates. For example, in 2020, there were 300,000 truck drivers. Then a year later, there were 24,000 additional drivers. But this statistic doesn’t account for the thousands of other people that go into making the trucking industry a success, such as office staff, warehouse staff, or the heavy-duty mechanics needed to maintain the equipment.

trucks parked at truck stop
Image Credit: Jarama, Shutterstock

6. In 2020, the average hourly wage in the trucking industry was $25.46

(GovCanada)

According to the latest Government of Canada report, the average wage in the trucking industry was $25.46 in 2020. Before that, it increased a bit every year to bring it from an average wage of $23.72 in 2016.

If you know a truck driver, you’ll know this is quite a bit lower than many truck drivers make. Office and warehouse staff may make closer to minimum wage, affecting the overall average.


7. Transport truck drivers comprise 43% of the industry’s workforce.

(LMI)

To put the previous stat about wages into perspective, we can see that 43% of the industry’s workforce is transport truck drivers. However, this leaves 57% of the remaining workers in the industry for all the other jobs needed to make shipping a success. For example, there are dispatchers, shipper receivers, delivery drivers, supervisors, HR professionals, and many others.

trailer trucks in parking area
Image Credit: Piqsels

8. Partway through 2021, a report showed a 20% increase in driver vacancies, bringing it up to 22,990.

(LMI)

As we’ve already seen, the industry as a whole is booming. And even though hundreds of thousands of people were employed, partway through 2021, there was a dramatic increase in job openings.

22,990 jobs were revealed in a labor market snapshot halfway through the year. The issue is finding qualified people to fill the roles. Many of them require special licenses or experience that can’t always be quickly trained.

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Goods Being Shipped

9. 90% of all food and consumer products are shipped via freight truck.

(Pembina)

You’ve probably seen a truck delivering fresh foods to your favorite grocery store. But did you know that 90% of pretty much everything you buy and use daily is delivered by a freight truck? This means that if this industry collapses for any reason, there will be a massive void in the supply chain.

One point that this does raise in some circles is the amount of greenhouse gas the trucks produce. This gives way to some neat advancements in emissions-friendly technology and electric and hybrid trucks.

Blue Truck
Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the most critical problem in the trucking industry?

Within any industry, there are always problems. However, a lack of qualified drivers has been plaguing the trucking industry for several years. With the increased demand for shipping, the need for drivers goes up. However, it’s not the most glamorous life, and it’s not right for everyone. So, that has led to shortages year after year.

How does one get into the trucking industry?

You can be a part of this booming and important industry in several ways. The most obvious way is to get the proper license for the type of truck you’d like to drive. For most transport trucks, a Class 3 or D license is needed.

However, if you’d prefer to be a local delivery driver, there are fewer license requirements. Typically, you can get an endorsement on your Class 5. And suppose you’d prefer to work in an office or warehouse environment. In that case, plenty of jobs are available such as shipper receivers, administration, dispatchers, etc. Most of these jobs have minimal application requirements outside of a grade 12 diploma. (ICBC)

cargo truck
Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay

What is a truck driver’s greatest challenge?

It may be easy to look at a truck driver’s job and comment on how easy it must be. All they do is sit in a truck and drive all day, right? While driving may be their job, it doesn’t come without some major challenges.

A few common complaints of truck drivers are trouble with their trucks due to lack of maintenance, long hours with a lot of pressure to make deliveries on time, and simply being away from home for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

Are automation or self-driving trucks endangering people’s jobs?

With the crazy advances we’re making with automated technology and self-driving vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before we have transport trucks that will drive themselves. In one way, this will likely impact some truck driver jobs, though there are a lot of vacancies anyways.

On the other hand, these new technologies will create other jobs like remote driving assistance, special maintenance, etc. Plus, all the other jobs, such as people who are loading and unloading, dispatching, or planning, are still needed.

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Conclusion

The trucking industry has definitely received flak in the past. However, there’s no mistaking how important these companies are for our economy in Canada. The industry itself is tough; there’s a ton of pressure on everyone—not just the drivers—to ensure that businesses have products on their shelves.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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