The American Trucking Associations’ is predicting a slight decline in future freight growth.
In 2010, the trade group estimated a 25% growth in total U.S. tonnage moved by 2021. In a report released Monday (July 9), the 2023 prediction is for tonnage to gain 21% by 2023.
The ATA “U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2023” is a collaboration between ATA, IHS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates. The report is designed to review the state of the freight economy and its future role.
“The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue, comprising 67% of tonnage and 81% of revenue in 2011,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello wrote in this year’s forecast.
Overall, total freight tonnage is expected to grow by 21% by 2023, and revenue for the freight transportation industry is projected to rise 59% in that same timeframe. Trucking’s share of the tonnage market will rise over 2 percentage points to 69.6% by 2023, while the industry’s share of freight revenues will increase to 81.7% from 80.9%.
In other surface modes, rail’s overall share of tonnage will fall to 15% in 2023 from 15.7% in the baseline year of 2011. However, intermodal tonnage will rise 6.2% a year between 2012 and 2017, and then 5.4% annually through 2023.
Domestic waterborne tonnage will show very modest growth between now and 2023 – growing 1% annually through 2023. Domestic airfreight tonnage is slated to grow over 4% annually during the forecast period.