Oregon's trucking industry accelerates

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Due to growing interstate commerce, Oregon taxes on commercial trucking rose more than 30% between 2002 and 2005, nearly reaching $250 million annually. While the state collects no fuel taxes from truckers, its weight-distance tax is hefty {safe_alt_text}enough that the American Trucking Association (ATA) ranks it No. 1 in state highway user taxes. A typical “five-axle tractor-semi-trailer combination” weighing 80,000 pounds would pay $11,037 annually here compared to $5,607 in Washington and $6,481 in California. Only 4.1% of U.S. interstate motor carriers — an industry dominated by small companies — are based in the Pacific Northwest, but for-hire truck drivers account for 1.3% of Oregon’s private workforce, slightly higher than the U.S. average. A 2005 report by research firm Global Insight found that long-haul trucking was short 20,000 drivers in 2004, and forecast even greater shortages in years to come. U.S. revenue-per-mile, as indexed by the ATA, has increased steadily over the last 10 years with a big 9% increase in 2004, yet it has not kept pace with general inflation.

Trucking jobs in selected states, 2003
For-hire trucking employees % of total private employment
United States 1,223,800 1.1%
California 97,200 0.8%
Washington 18,400 0.9%
Oregon 16,800 1.3%
Idaho 7,900 1.7%
Nevada 5,200 0.6%
Alaska 2,000 0.9%










Source: ATA, American Trucking Trends 2005-2006



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