Annual Trucking Survey

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2009 and 2010

The 56,800 active businesses in the trucking industry reported $40.8 billion in operating revenue in 2010, a 4.9% increase from 2009.

Operating expenses were up 4.6% to $37.9 billion. The increase in operating expenses was led by vehicle fuel expenses (+12.2%), followed by insurance premiums (+5.9%) and salaries, wages and benefits (+5.6%).

The industry's operating margin (operating revenue less operating expenses) increased 10.0% to $2.9 billion. The operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenue) was 0.928 in 2010 compared with 0.931 in 2009.

The 4,800 largest businesses, those with annual operating revenue of $1.3 million or more, recorded a 6.0% increase in operating revenue and a 4.5% rise in operating expenses. This led to a 39.7% increase in the operating margin and an improvement in the operating ratio.

In contrast, the 52,000 smaller businesses reported a 4.7% growth in operating expenses, which exceeded the 2.0% increase in operating revenue. These firms experienced a 14.0% decline in their operating margin and a deteriorating operating ratio. Although they make up the majority of trucking businesses, the smaller firms account for little more than one-quarter of total operating revenue.

Businesses engaged primarily in long-distance trucking reported $26.7 billion in operating revenue, up 3.0%. In comparison, local trucking businesses experienced an 8.8% increase to $14.1 billion in operating revenue. Local trucking accounted for 58% of all businesses, but 35% of total operating revenue.

In 2010, trucking firms received 77% of their trucking revenue from hauling freight within Canada. Of the remainder, 12% came from transporting goods into the country and 11% from transporting goods out of the country. Firms located in Manitoba (33%), Ontario (32%) and Prince Edward Island (27%) earned larger-than-average shares of their revenue from transborder trucking.

Nationally, carriers earned 26% of their revenue from transporting packed goods that did not require climate control. Dry bulk accounted for 17% of revenue, followed by packed goods needing climate control, at 13%, and bulk liquids and gases, at 10%. Firms located in Prince Edward Island received 42% of their revenue from packed goods needing climate control while those located in Saskatchewan received 37% of their revenue from bulk liquids and gases.

Trucking firms reported 201,000 employees, including 128,000 salaried drivers, and an additional 54,000 owner-operators. These businesses operated 182,000 powered units, of which 121,000 were road tractors, and 302,000 non-powered units such as vans, semi-trailers and flat decks.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables 403-0008 to 403-0015.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2742.

For more information, to order more specific data tables, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-500-8400;, Transportation Division.