- The number of miles trucks drive empty is widely underestimated, according to an analysis from trucking startup Convoy, due to a lack of measurement standards and natural human biases. While industry estimates are typically around 20% for empty miles, according to Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research at Convoy, the figure is closer to 33%.
- The share of empty miles driven varies by type of carrier. Convoy’s analysis shows for private fleets, in which the shipper owns or leases trucks to carry its own goods, empty miles are around 40% of total miles driven.
- Terrazas wrote the data suggests “remarkably little progress on reducing empty miles since at least the 1990s,” although he noted the number of miles driven empty has decreased since the 1970s.