Fleet & Tractor Counts

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One of the most frequently asked questions from transportation industry executives is how much capacity has increased or decreased in a given time period. Given the fact that all drivers and trucks must be registered by the FMCSA, there is a number available, but it is not always accurate or easy to interpret. That is why FreightWaves’ team of data scientists have studied and cleansed the data in order to provide as pure a number, representative of the market supply as possible.

FreightWaves has created a methodology to remove carriers no longer in operation (whether officially active or inactive) from the monthly FMCSA census file.

Using this new methodology, SONAR provides the most accurate census of motor carriers that are actively operating fleets of Class 8 tractors within the U.S., including data that represents the total count of fleets, the count of for-hire fleets and the count of for-hire Class 8 tractors.

Tractor counts in SONAR are a monthly measure of the number of Class 8 tractors listed for motor carriers with an active USDOT number provided by the FMCSA and that report at least 20,000 annual miles or more on their MCS150 form.

This monthly data provides insight into how many fleets are registering with the FMCSA, which gives the user insight into how many new trucking companies are entering the market. It will give an indication of how the trucking sector is growing or shrinking.

SONAR also offers breakdowns of fleet counts in for-hire fleets divided by size and based on the FMCSA registrations.  The size groupings are as follows: one to six power units; seven to 11 power units; 12 to 19 power units; 20 to 100 power units; 101 to 999 power units; and 1,000-plus power units.

Fleet and tractor counts:

  • Total count of fleets
  • Total count of tractors
  • Count of fleets (by size) 
  • Count of tractors (by size of fleet)

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