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What is an NAICS code?

An NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is a six-digit classification system used by federal statistical agencies to categorize businesses. The primary goal is to collect, analyze, and publish statistical data related to the U.S. economy. Each code describes the economic activity of a specific business, categorizing industries using a hierarchical, numerical system. This detailed system allows for a high level of specificity in identifying primary business activities, which is essential for regulatory purposes, taxation, SBA lending and grants.

For the trucking industry, NAICS codes play a significant role because they identify the specific nature of trucking activities, such as long-distance freight, local delivery services, or specialized freight operations. By doing so, it helps trucking companies align with industry standards and regulations.

Here are a couple of examples of NAICS codes specifically relevant to the trucking industry:

NAICS Code 484110 – General Freight Trucking, Local

  • This classification is for businesses primarily engaged in providing local general freight trucking. Local trucking establishments usually carry goods within a single metropolitan area and its adjacent nonurban areas.

NAICS Code 484121 – General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload

  • This code represents businesses mainly involved in long-distance general freight trucking. Truckload carriers usually handle a single shipment that fills the entire truck. The shipment typically goes from the origin to the destination without intermediate stops or handling.

How to find the NAICS code for your trucking business

  • Go to the official website of the North American Industry Classification System at www.naics.com. This site provides a search feature where you can look up NAICS codes by keyword.
  • Utilize the ‘NAICS Code Search box (in the center of the page) to search for keywords your trucking business, such as “trucking,” “freight,” or “transportation.” The system will display a list of related NAICS codes and descriptions.
  • Carefully review the descriptions of the NAICS codes provided. Each description will detail the types of activities that businesses within that category typically engage in. Match your trucking business’s primary activities with the most appropriate NAICS code description.

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