Total U.S. freight tonnage will grow 21 percent by 2023, as freight revenue rises 59 percent, the American Trucking Associations predicts in a new freight forecast.
The weak economic recovery won’t hinder trucking in the long-term, the forecast claims. Many observers believe trucking stands to gain as inventories and supply chains get leaner.
Trucking share of freight tonnage will increase more than 2 percentage points to 69.6 percent by 2023, according to ATA’s Freight Transportation Forecast.
The forecast, prepared by ATA, IHS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates, predicts trucking’s share of total freight revenue will rise to 81.7 percent.
"The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.
Trucking handles 67 percent of freight tonnage and accounts for 81 percent of freight revenue in the U.S., Costello said in the annual forecast, released Monday.
The forecast sees better times ahead for intermodal rail. Intermodal tonnage will rise 6.2 percent a year between 2012 and 2017, and then 5.4 percent through 2023.
Rail’s overall share of tonnage will drop from 15.7 in 2011 to 15 percent in 2023.
ATA also predicts domestic air tonnage will rise more than 4 percent annually from 2011 through 2023, while water transportation will increase 1 percent a year.
The report may be purchased from ATA. Costello will hold a webinar on the forecast July 31.