CarrierOK: 88,000 Trucking Closures in 2023
Data from CarrierOK shows a steep net loss of carriers from 2022-23, a trend not seen in the past 25 years.
Data analyzed by CarrierOK says that nearly 88,000 trucking companies have closed their doors in 2023, alongside 8,000 freight brokerages.
To compile the data, the company looked at MC# revocations, reinstatements, and grants over the past twenty-five years. Arriving at an accurate figure for trucking firm closures is difficult, and this figure raises alarms.
A Steep Decline: The chart from CarrierOK shows a significant net loss of carriers from 2022-23, a trend not seen in the past 25 years.
Focus on the Past Five Years
In 2019, nearly 800 trucking companies ceased operations, more than double the rate of closures in 2018. This was during the start of the pandemic when stay-at-home measures led to a drastic drop in freight movement.
The average size of the trucking companies that failed in 2019 was also notably larger than those in 2018, with the closed companies in the first three quarters of 2019 having an average of 30 trucks, pulling nearly 24,000 trucks off the roads.
The drop worsened moving into the beginning of 2020, with over 3,000 companies ceasing operations that year, according to available data.
Following the surge in e-commerce and freight recovery throughout 2021-22, we entered a freight recession this year, bringing major layoffs, bankruptcies, and significant closures.
- A Historic Downturn: Among the affected, historical mainstay Yellow Corp. filed for bankruptcy, impacting 30,000 jobs.
- Widespread Impact: From long-standing family businesses like Certified Freight Logistics and Matheson Trucking to newer entrants such as Big J Express LLC, companies across the board faced closure.
As the dust settles, the market is recalibrating, potentially paving the way for a more streamlined and resilient future.