Oregon’s trucking industry plays a key role in keeping the economy moving. Close to 80% of Oregon communities depend solely on trucks to deliver everyday essentials, from food to medical supplies. Other industries rely on trucks to transport not only their final products, but also the materials and equipment needed to manufacture goods and maintain their businesses.
Trucking in Oregon
Almost all the products you use every day have traveled by truck at some point in time. Most products start with raw materials that are transported to a processing facility. From there, they may have been transported to an assembly plant, a distribution facility, and then to your local store or front door.
Without trucks, you probably wouldn’t get your morning coffee, have shoes to wear, milk to drink (from a cow or a nut) or have a house to live in! Trucking is a vital part of our economy in the U.S. and in the state of Oregon.
Take a look at some fast facts for Oregon’s trucking industry. Some you may already be aware of. Others may come as a surprise.
Oregon is #1...in Trucking Taxes & Fees
Out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., Oregon is the most expensive state to operate a commercial heavy vehicle when it comes to trucking-specific taxes. These taxes are in addition to regular business taxes that trucking companies also pay.
As of 2023 Oregon trucking companies pay $33,064 in state and federal highway user taxes each year. This is an increase of $1,650 in federal taxes over 2022.
- State: $22,508
- Federal: $10,556
To put that into perspective, here are the states that round out the top 5 - these are estimates based on the increase in federal taxes for 2023:
- #2 – California: $25,122
- #3 – Pennsylvania: $24,829
- #4 – Illinois: $22,841
- #5 – New York: $22,253
The least expensive state to operate a commercial heavy vehicle in terms of trucking-specific taxes is Alaska at $12, 339 (State - $1,783; Federal - $10,556). Our neighbors to the north also pay less. Washington comes in at #8, with $20,632.
Just the Facts
Every year, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) develops a set of fast facts for each state. New 2023 numbers just released!
- There are 101,030 trucking industry jobs in Oregon, accounting for 1 in 16 jobs in the state.
- There are 22,840 heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the state.
- The average trucking industry salary in Oregon is $54,072.
- Almost 91% of manufactured tonnage in Oregon is transported by truck – that’s 122,780 tons a day!
- The trucking industry pays $286 million in federal and state roadway taxes, equaling 28% of all taxes paid by Oregon motorists despite accounting for only 15% of vehicles miles traveled.
This just in...
ATRI has just release some new reports related to charging infrastructure challenges for electric vehicle fleets and the CO2 impacts of zero-emission vehicles. Click on the graphics below for the full reports.
- Full electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet would require a large percentage of the country's existing electricity generation
- Some states (CA, NM, MO and others) would need more than 50% of current electricity generation to meet electric vehicle travel needs
- Class 8 Costs: Diesel vehicle - up to $150,000; Battery electric vehicle - up to $450,000; Fuel cell electric vehicle - $200,00 - $600,000
- There currently is no U.S. network where over-the-road trucks can stop for rest breaks and recharging at the same time
Careers in Trucking
While the most visible trucking industry job is that of a driver, there are a lot of other positions that keep the industry moving. Necessary skill sets are as diverse as the people who make up the industry. Technology also continues to transform trucking, requiring innovative and forward-thinking team members. If you're looking for career path that offers plenty of opportunities, consider the trucking industry and these positions - just to name a few:
Director of Safety & Compliance