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Have you ever noticed that an awful lot of semi-trucks on the road are wearing Florida license plates? No, you weren’t imagining it. Florda ranks number three in the country for most semi-truck registrations. There are two reasons: everything these trucks haul into Florida, and everything they haul back out.

Florida is a major shipping hub

The state of Florida has 14 primary deep water ports. Its largest are Miami, the Everglades, Palm Beach, Canaveral, and Pensacola, as well as the Naval Station at Mayport. This makes it one of the largest shipping hubs on the East Coast for products arriving from overseas.

Two Florida semi-trucks parked at a truck stop.
Florida semi-trucks | Peter Titmuss/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Perhaps it seems odd to land products in Florida which are destined for a place such as New York. But if a container of electronics has already covered 10,000 miles across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal, what’s another 1,000 miles on the back of a semi-truck? The ports of Florida are especially appealing for a ship with cargo destined for various locations across the South and Mid-Atlantic.

In addition to cargo from overseas, Florida’s semi-trucks may be hauling the products of the state’s many industries. Florida’s major industries include agriculture, advanced manufacturing, technology, mining, aerospace, and aviation.

Florida has a huge population

You might be surprised how many folks call the “Sunshine State” home permanently. The 2020 census put its population at 21.78 million. That makes it the third most populated state in the U.SA. The government of Florida estimates that the state receives an additional 137.6 million visitors each year, whether by land or by cruise ship.

A "Sisco" semi-truck delivering food to tourists in a Florida resort.
Florida semi-truck | Peter Titmuss/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Between residents and visitors, there are a ton of people in Florida at any given time. These millions of people need a ton of goods. And how do most products arrive in Florida? On the back of a semi-truck.

So what is inside the trailer behind a semi-truck with Florida plates? According to, the top 10 products transported by the Florida trucking industry are as follows:

  1. Aircraft including engines, and airplane parts
  2. Cell phones
  3. Gold (unwrought)
  4. Modems, similar reception/transmission devices
  5. Integrated circuits (processors/controllers)
  6. Small portable digital computers
  7. Ammonium dihydrogen orthophosphate
  8. Medical/surgical/dental/veterinarian instruments
  9. Polyamides
  10. Mineral or chemical fertilizers

How many semi-trucks are registered in Florida?

The “Sunshine State” has well over 100,000 currently registered semi-truck tractors. That puts Florida in the top five states in the country for semi-truck registrations.

Two men stand in front of a huge pile of Florida oranges about to be loaded on to semi trucks.
Orange processing | Luis Davilla/Cover via Getty Images

Back in 2015, Truckers News counted up the number of commercial trucks registered in each state. Florida came in third with 7,737,069. In 2017, the Federal Highway Administration dialed in on each truck category and revealed that 102,294 of the commercial trucks registered in Florida were semi-truck “tractors.” That number is likely even higher today.

So who drives all those trucks? adds that Florida has the fourth highest amount of truck drivers as any state, with 77,500 Floridians claiming the career.

Next, find out why so many semi-truck trailers have Maine license plates or see a day in the life of a Florida truck driver in the video below: