Michigan CDL-Freight Distribution in the United States

Obtaining a Michigan CDL can be a huge step towards starting your career as a professional truck driver. But do you know how many industries depend on trucks to transport their goods?

When it comes to moving freight, most goods rely on more than one mode of transportation to reach their destination. In the United States, trucks are responsible for carrying a significant percentage of all domestic freight, whereas ships are responsible for moving a vast majority of international merchandise. On the other hand, airplanes are an excellent mode of transportation for time-sensitive and high-value items.

Freight Distribution in the United States

Let’s look at the freight distribution for trucks, ships, and airplanes in the country.


Trucks are considered the most suitable mode of transportation for short and medium distances. Almost all big and small businesses in the country count on trucks to move their raw materials and finished goods from one place to another. The trucking industry is also one of the most notable contributors to the national economy.

According to the American Trucking Associations, trucks moved more than 11 billion tons of freight in 2019, representing 72% of the total freight shipped in the country. The same year, the trucking industry earned nearly $791 billion in gross revenue. That made up about 80% of the total freight bills.


Maritime transportation is one of the most popular and safest ways to move freight from one part of the world to the other. Every time you order a product from another country, there is a good chance it will travel on a ship before arriving on your doorstep.

According to Select USA, a federal program that promotes business investment in the country, ships are responsible for moving about 70% of all US international merchandise by value and 72% of the US exports by tonnage. However, things are a little different when it comes to domestic freight. According to the Department of Transportation statistics, water transportation moved 4% of the domestic freight by tonnage in 2015.


Trucks and ships may be the most popular modes of freight transportation, but they are not as quick as airplanes.

Air transportation is ideal for those looking for expedited deliveries, accounting for 35% of the total international trade by value. Most industries and businesses in the country use planes to transport documents, small parcels, and other items that are either time-sensitive or expensive. In 2015, air transportation accounted for 17% of the total exports. It alse was 14% of the total imports by value in the US.

Our Final Thoughts on Michigan CDL

To conclude, almost all goods rely on various modes of transportation, including ships, planes, and trucks, among others. The trucking industry is responsible for moving more than 70% of the total freight in the country by tonnage. Ships are instrumental in carrying out about 70% of the international merchandise by value. Meanwhile, planes are mostly used for the quick delivery of domestic and international cargo.

How to Obtain a Michigan CDL?

If you are looking to obtain a Michigan CDL and start your career as a commercial truck driver, the CDL School Michigan can help you achieve your dreams. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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