The Next Decade Looks Bright for Freight and Trucking
Thursday, August 18, 2016
In 2015 the American Trucking Association (ATA) released a report that indicated the use of trucking and freight will increase by 29% through 2026. Population growth, energy sector expansion, and foreign trade relations improved in the last few years, and barring unusual circumstances, the future of moving goods by truck, train, and plane is very positive.
This report is significant because it indicates a tremendous growth in the trucking and freight sector, which will impact companies that serve the industry, businesses that utilize the industry, and of course, end consumers. Growth in freight tonnage is expected to hit 28.6% and the increase in freight revenues is anticipated to reach 74.5% growth, or $1.52 trillion, by 2026. As a result there will be plenty of roles that need to be filled by freight companies.
Planning ahead is key for any industry. This type of prediction can help freight companies make important decisions about expanding their service areas and investing in trucks or technology today that will affect their growth and bottom line in the years to come. Well researched predictions like this can also help companies make important decisions about working with lawmakers and regulators to encourage the best possible policies to follow through on the growth of the past decade and to continue moving the economy forward.
The ATA data says that moving goods by truck will still dominate the freight industry and that the number of Class 8 trucks on the road will reach nearly 4 million by 2026. However, while overall tonnage will increase, the ATA predicts that the percentage of goods being moved by trucks will decrease slightly.
Eight years of tremendous growth in US energy production will have the biggest impact on freight, with pipeline volumes increasing an average of more than 10% per year and their share of freight increasing from 10% in 2015 to 18% in 2026.
Railroads will see a slight decline in freight tonnage, but intermodal freight will be the second-fastest growing segment of the industry with a 4.5% annual growth through 2021 and then a 5.3% growth every year that follows through 2026.
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