Rhode Island Trucking Keeps It Short and Simple

Ask any grade-school scholar what the biggest state in the U.S. is, and they might get tripped up. But ask them the smallest, and you’re sure to hear “Rhode Island” belt out with confidence. That’s because the first thing most people learn about the state is that it’s small.

With a population of about one million, an area of 1,212 square miles, and only five counties, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to guess that there’s also not much hassle when it comes to trucking across the state.

Rhode Island is best known for its scenic shores, seaside colonial towns, and as a popular destination for sailing, surfing, and fishing.13 That’s pretty simple!

Rhode Island produces jewelry, silverware, electrical equipment, textiles, transportation equipment, and fabricated materials.[10][11] But the state is known for making silverware and fine jewelry.3 Major industries in Rhode Island include healthcare, tourism, financial services, manufacturing, and education.13 The state’s major industries, along with its ports and riverfronts, provide enough economic backing for truckers and the trucking industry.


The Rhode Island Trucking Association (RITA) is a non-profit organization comprised of owner-operators, fleet owners, private and for-hire motor carriers, and allied industries. RITA’s mission is “to enhance the motor carrier industry's image, efficiency, and productivity through promoting highway safety, providing valuable information and educational programs, and ensure that our voices are heard in legislative matters."

  • Some events and programs sponsored by the association include:
  • Annual meetings
  • Truck Driving Championships, and
  • Recognition programs

Freight Economy

Approximately 88% of Rhode Island communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods.

Products either exported out of the state or shipped within its borders by Rhode Island truck drivers, include:

  • Miscellaneous precious metal scrap
  • Immunological products
  • Jewelry articles clad in precious metal
  • Gold compounds
  • Silver powder


Connecticut and Massachusetts, along with the Atlantic Ocean, make up Rhode Island’s borders. There are about 12,664 total lane miles for truckers to transport goods throughout and across the state’s borders.

I-95 provides only 43 miles of interstate. I-70 is the state’s only other major highway.

Work and Wages

Although Rhode Island only has about 627 total local truck driver jobs, still, one out of every fourteen jobs in the U.S. is in the trucking industry. In 2019, there were roughly 18,080 jobs in the trucking industry alone.1

The average annual salary of a Rhode Island truck driver is about $66,454, which is significantly greater than the median yearly salary of $47,130 reported by the BLS in May 2020.