You are here

Number of Air Carriers, Railroads, Interstate Motor Carriers, Marine Vessel Operators, and Pipeline Operators

Dataset Excel: 

KEY:  N = data do not exist; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a Carrier groups are categorized based on their annual operating revenues as major, national, large regional, and medium regional. The thresholds were last adjusted July 1, 1999, and the threshold for Major air carriers is currently $1 billion. The Other air carrier category contains all national, large regional, and medium regional air carriers. Beginning in 2003, regional air carriers are not required to report financial data which may result in under reporting of Other carriers in this table.

b 1960-2005 figures are for the fiscal year, October through September. 2006-09 figures are snapshots dated Dec. 22, 2006; Dec. 21, 2007; Dec. 19, 2008, and Dec. 18, 2009. 2010 figure is the U.S. DOT number of active interstate motor carriers as of the end of December 2010.  The numbers of Interstate motor carriers are based on 'active' U.S. DOT Numbers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deletes motor carriers from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) when they receive an official notice of a change in status. However, some companies may go out of business without de-activating their U.S. DOT Number. As a result, inactive carriers may be included in the MCMIS.

c The printed source materials do not contain totals for the number of operators, and data files from which the figures can be determined are not available prior to 1993.

d There is some overlap among the operators for the pipeline modes. Therefore the total number of Pipeline operators is lower than the sum for the three pipeline modes.

e The value given for 1985 is actually for 1986. The number of Hazardous liquid pipeline operators is not available for prior years.

f Natural gas transmission numbers also include gas gathering counts as well.

g In 1975 and 1980, Natural gas distribution includes master meter and mobile home park natural gas distribution operators.  A master meter system is a pipeline system for distributing gas within, but not limited to, a definable area, such as a mobile home park, housing project, or apartment complex, where the operator purchases metered gas from an outside source for resale through a gas distribution pipeline system. The gas distribution pipeline system supplies the ultimate consumer who either purchases the gas directly through a meter or by other means, such as by rents. 


Air carriers: 

1960-2002: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Air Carrier Financial Statistics Quarterly (Washington, DC: Fourth quarter issues), "Alphabetical List of Air Carriers by Carrier Group".

2003-15: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Accounting and Reporting Directives, All Carrier Groupings (Washington, DC), available at as of Sept. 15, 2016.


1960-85: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Ten-Year Trends, Vol. 2 (Washington, DC), table I-2.

1990-98: Ibid., Vol. 16 (Washington, DC: 1999), p. 10.

1999-2012:  Ibid., Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), p. 3.

2013-15: AAR currently does not have enough people in the department to conduct the survey necessary to have data for the non-Class I railroads.  

Interstate motor carriers:  

1990-2001: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Motor Carrier Management Information System, and personal communication, Nov. 6, 2001.

2002-12: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Analysis and Information Online, available at as of June 4, 2004, and personal communication, January 2007, January 2010, January 2011, January 2012, and November 2013.

2013-15: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, available at as of Sept. 19, 2016.

Marine vessel operators: 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterborne Transportation Lines of the United States, Volume 1, National Summaries (New Orleans, LA: Annual Issues), table 13, available at as of September 2016.

Pipeline operators:  

U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Pipeline Safety Office, Gas Distribution Systems, Gas Transmission & Gathering Systems and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems Annual Reporting, personal communication, September 2009, January 2011, January 2012, November 2013, and September 2016.