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Trucking in Canada is a $65 billion industry that employs over 260,000 drivers and somewhere in the order of 400,000 Canadians overall. It's a diverse industry made up of a few large companies but dominated by thousands of small and medium-sized businesses and independent owner-operators.


Trucks move 90 percent of all consumer products and foodstuffs within Canada and almost two thirds, by value, of our trade with the United States, our largest trading partner.


Without trucking, the wheels of commerce would stop rolling and Canadians would be unable to enjoy many of their favourite consumer products.


 Snapshot of Canada’s Trucking Industry*:

  • As a whole, the trucking industry (including for-hire carriers, private carriers, owner-operators and courier firms) generated an estimated $67 billion in revenues in 2005.
  • With respect to trucking firms, in 2006, general freight carriers accounted for 57 percent of the for-hire revenues of the industry.
  • Truck carriers with annual revenues of $12 million or more accounted for 57 percent of the for-hire trucking industry.
  • Heavy trucks accounted for 21.8 billion vehicle-kilometres in 2006, compared with 7.4 billion vehicle-kilometres for medium-sized trucks.
  • Empty haul movements accounted for 13 percent of heavy truck vehicle-kilometres in 2006, compared with about 5 percent for medium-sized trucks.

Infrastructure:

  • According to the Canadian Vehicle Survey 2007, there were 789,272 (in scope) heavy trucks (gross weight of at least 4,500 kilograms) in Canada, of which 461,144 were medium-sized, weighing between 4,500 and 15,000 kilograms. A total of 328,128 were Class 8 (heavy) trucks.
  • Ontario (36 percent), Alberta (26 percent) and Quebec (12 percent) accounted for approximately two thirds of the heavy truck fleet.


Trade:

  • Trucking is a key trade facilitator. About 2/3 of Canada-U.S. trade moves by truck including over 80% of all US exports to Canada. The North American just-in-time inventory system is built around the truck.
  • Canadian for-hire trucking firms carry over 80 percent of total tonnage shipped intra-provincially.
  • In terms of value, in 2007 trucking accounted 58.8 percent of trade with the United States, rail 17.2 per cent, pipeline 13.8 percent, air 5.8 percent and marine 4.3 percent.
  • In 2007, the exports from Canada shipped by trucks totalled $174.3 billion (50.7 percent of total exports) down from $181.3 billion in 2006. Imports from the United States shipped by trucks amounted to $160.9 billion in 2007, down from $166 billion in 2006.

The Border:

  • The busiest trans-border trucking routes were Ontario–U.S. central region, Ontario–U.S. south region and Ontario–U.S. northeast region. Combined, they accounted for almost 80 percent of the shipments.
  • Heavy truck activity across the Canada–U.S. border fell about one percent in 2006 to 12.9 million two-way trips, still below the 2000 peak.
    Environment:
  • On average, heavy trucks are driven 73,000 kilometres per year, about four times as much as medium trucks, which are approximately driven 19,000 kilometres per year.
  • Heavy truck fuel efficiency averaged about 33 L/100 km, with straight trucks averaging 31 L/100 km and tractor-trailers averaging 35 L/100 km.

Labour:

  • The trucking industry as a whole employs approximately 400,000 people in communities large and small all across Canada.


 
* The statistics on the trucking industry have been sourced through Transport Canada 's annual report – Transportation in Canada 2007. For the full report see www.tc.gc.ca/pol/en/anre/menu.htm and through various Statistics Canada surveys.  Please see www.statcan.gc.ca for more information.

© 2012, Canadian Trucking Alliance