Forecast Shows Continued Growth for U.S. Trucking


Despite some pressing issues, the ATA forecasts growth in the trucking industry.

The American Trucking Association recently released the latest edition of its forecast for the future of freight transportation, and projected growth in both overall freight volumes and in the amount of goods moved by truck.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says, “As we continue to see growth in the overall economy — particularly due to manufacturing, consumer spending and international trade — we will also see increases in the amount of freight moved in America’s trucks.”

Between 2016 and 2016, the forecast projects freight tonnage will grow a total of 35 percent. During that same time period, the amount of freight moved by trucks will grow a little less than 27 percent. That said, traditional modes of transportation — truck, rail and water — are said to lose marketshare to pipeline, which will grow from 10.5 percent to 17.4 percent between 2016 and 2027. This is mostly a result of growth in the U.S. energy sector.

What the Future Holds

Truckload volumes are expected to grow 2 percent annually between 2016 and 2022, and then 1.6 percent per year thereafter until 2027. Less-than-truckload volume will grow between 3 and 2.8 percent annually in that same timespan. Private carrier volumes will grow 2.3 percent until 2022 and 2.1 percent over the following five years.

ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said, “No one can know exactly what the future holds for our economy and the industry, but Freight Forecast has proven to be a valuable tool for everyone from industry leaders to government policy makers. We do know as long as our economy continues to grow, trucks will continue to move the vast majority of America’s goods, underscoring our industry’s critical role in our country’s future.” It’s evident that the trucking industry remains vital and has a fairly positive outlook for years to come.

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