This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the operation of terminal facilities used by highway-type property carrying vehicles. Also included are terminals that provide maintenance and service for motor vehicles. Terminals operated by motor freight transportation companies for their own use are classified in SIC 4212: Local Trucking Without Storage; SIC 4213: Trucking, Except Local; SIC 4214: Local Trucking With Storage; or SIC 4215: Courier Services, Except by Air. Separate maintenance and service facilities operated by motor freight transportation companies are classified as auxiliary.
Other Support Activities for Road Transportation
Although trucking terminals provide a number of services, from showers for truckers to truck maintenance and repair, the establishments are primarily used for their storage and consolidation facilities. Freight is combined and redistributed at these terminals in an effort to reduce the distances and costs of transportation. Terminals, therefore, are located in areas where the demand for transportation is high, and terminals are continually relocated according to shifting traffic patterns. While there are thousands of trucking terminals in the United States, most of these facilities are operated by trucking companies themselves and therefore are not included in this category.
The truck terminal industry boomed after the deregulation of the industry as a whole in 1980. Deregulation resulted in a 160 percent increase in the number of registered truckers between 1980 and 1991. New truck companies were often small operations that could not afford to operate their own terminals, and many new terminals were constructed. As the industry moved into the 1990s, however, shifts in both the economy and in distribution patterns reversed truck terminal expansion. Although an increase in traffic in the southeastern United States fostered growth in terminals in the region, many existing terminals were closed in the early 1990s.
A number of factors precipitated the terminal closings, such as the waning health of the trucking industry. By the late 1980s, many of the smaller operators who emerged after deregulation had been forced out of business. The post-deregulation boom was ended by an economic recession and an increase in competition from parcel carriers, such as United Parcel Services. The remaining companies were large and generally...