ATA: Freight Forecast Projects Continued Growth for Trucking

American Trucking Associations released the latest edition of its Freight Forecast, with freight volumes projected to increase 4.2% in 2018 and increase 35.6% by 2029.

“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 ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “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.”

This edition of ATA Freight Forecast 2018 to 2029 was released at ATA’s second annual Economic Summit.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Total tonnage transported will reach nearly 16 billion tons in 2018 – a figure that should rise 35.6% to 21.7 billion tons in 2029.
  • Truck volumes are expected to grow 2.3% per year from 2019-2024 and 2.2% annually for the next five years.
  • Changes in demand for commodities – notably commodities moved by pipeline – will alter trucking’s share of freight volumes. While in 2018, trucks are projected to move 70.2% of total tonnage, that share is expected to sink to 65.9% in 2029. Nonetheless, the trucking industry will remain the single largest mover of freight.
  • The transport of freight by rail, including intermodal, will account for 12.6% of tonnage this year – but that figure is expected to drop to 10% in 2029 – again, due to strength in pipeline, not falling rail volumes.

“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 ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “More freight means we’ll need more trucks and more drivers to continue safely delivering our nation’s goods.”

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