Delaware Makes Room for Big Rig Drivers

Delaware may be the second smallest state in the U.S. when it comes to its area in size, but it isn’t shy about making room for big rig drivers.

The state is 96 miles long, ranges from 9 to 35 miles in width, and has only 14,069 total lane miles.

Whether that says a little or a lot about the Delaware, it’s important to know that the state’s size doesn’t impact the need or appreciation for truck drivers. Delaware’s agriculture, economy, and position at the top of the Mid-Atlantic coastline are suited just right for truckers.

Advocacy and Safety

The Delaware Motor Transport Association, Inc. (DMTA) advocates for trucking’s interests throughout the state and promotes the industry’s image.

The association allows members to speak with a united voice on matters affecting highway transportation. DMTA also encourages and supports safety to foster a positive attitude toward the trucking industry.

Some DMTA membership benefits inlcude:

  • Communication
  • Advocacy, and
  • Educational Programs, and


Delaware’s major economic enterprise is chemical manufacturing, although the state also has a petroleum refinery, a synthetic rubber plant, packaging plants, and textile mills.

The state’s agricultural economy is based on poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products, and corn. Also, the Port of Wilmington contains the largest dockside cold freight storage facility in North America, making it a major offloading point for bananas and other fruits and vegetables destined for transportation elsewhere.

According to Delaware’s DOT, trucks move goods to and from stores, factories, and other locations and significantly impact the state’s transportation system. The New Castle County region alone generates nearly 37 million tons of freight annually, contributing to the regions' economic success.

Delaware truckers can expect to transport:

  • Miscellaneous medications
  • Automobiles
  • Aircraft
  • Bananas
  • Machinery tools
  • Petroleum oils, and
  • Vulcanized rubber gaskets

Work and Wages

There are more than nine million American jobs in the trucking industry.7 Delaware claims approximately 1,566 total local truck driver jobs. In 2019, there were 15,733 heavy truck driver active apprentices in the state.

The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $47,130 in May 2020.

Delaware drivers earn an above-national-average annual salary of $61,075.


Three states border Delaware and it also has four primary ports for water access.

Delaware’s interstate infrastructure is limited due to its small size, and the only interstate is I-95. However, truckers can also access seven U.S. highways providing access to most of Delaware.