American Trucking Associations has released a new edition of its Freight Forecast, which examines the freight economy and makes projections about its future.
This year’s edition projects an increase in freight volumes of 4.2% in 2018 and expects total tonnage transported to hit 16 billion tons. These gains will only increase with time and ATA projects an increase in freight volumes of 35.6% by 2029 with total tonnage hitting 21.7 billion tons a decade later.
“Freight Forecast is our look at the future of the freight economy – how it is growing, how it is changing and how it is both affecting and being affected by the economy at home and abroad,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “The movement of goods is such a critical component of our economy, and the growth we’re projecting in freight demand is a reflection of its strength.”
Over the five year period from 2019-2024, truck volumes are expected to grow 2.3% per year, falling to 2.2% annually over the five years that follow. Because of expected changes in demand for commodities, particularly those moved by pipeline, trucking’s share of the total tonnage moved is expected to decrease from 70.2% in 2018 to 65.9% in 2029.
Freight moved by rail, including intermodal, will account for 12.6% of tonnage this year, but is expected to drop to 10% by 2029.
"Projected increases in freight volumes demand we act now on important issues facing trucking and the rest of the supply chain like workforce development and infrastructure investment,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “More freight means we’ll need more trucks and more drivers to continue safely delivering our nation’s goods.”
The report is available for purchase online.