ATA report points to bright future for trucking (and some other modes, too)

Earlier today, my inbox pointed me to an e-mail from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which highlighted the fact that the United States freight economy—especially trucking—is poised for liftoff following the depths of the Great Recession. This information is gleaned from the ATA’s U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022, which was put together by the ATA, IHS Global Insight, and Martin Labbe Associates.

By ·

Earlier today, my inbox pointed me to an e-mail from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which highlighted the fact that the United States freight economy—especially trucking—is poised for liftoff following the depths of the Great Recession.

This information is gleaned from the ATA’s U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022, which was put together by the ATA, IHS Global Insight, and Martin Labbe Associates.

While I have not seen the full report yet, the data in the press release is very telling, as well as encouraging. Here it is:
-trucking comprised 81 percent of revenue and 67 percent of all tonnage in 2010;
-total freight tonnage is expected to grow by 24 percent in 2022 and revenue for the entire freight transportation sector is expected to rise by 66 percent during the same timeframe
-trucking’s total share of the freight transportation market will bump up to 70 percent by 2022, although the industry’s share of freight revenue will rise to 81.4 percent from 81.2 percent.

Looking at other modes, the report noted that:
-rail’s overall share of tonnage will fall to 14.6 percent in 2022 from 15.3% in the baseline year of 2010, but intermodal tonnage will rise 6.6 percent a year between 2011 and 2016, and 5.5 percent annually through 2022, while revenues for intermodal transportation will jump from $11.1 billion in 2010 to $30.7 billion in 2022; and
-domestic waterborne transportation will show very modest growth between now and 2022 – growing 2 percent a year until 2016, then 0.2 percent annually through 2022. And revenues for short-sea shippers will grow to $16.2 billion in 2022 from $11.1 billion in 2010.

Given the number of assets in trucking compared to other modes, these numbers are not surprising. What is surprising, I think, is the level of optimism for future freight growth.

Ok-not a total surprise, but at a time when many in the carrier and shipper communities and in the press (yes, that is me), have pointed to better days ahead (hopefully), things are obviously far from certain or definitive.

Last I checked, fuel is still high and lots of people are still looking for work. And the costs of doing business, especially in trucking, are ostensibly getting higher (hello CSA and HOS). But in any event, there are good signs, too, like improving exports and retail sales numbers, in tandem with a solid manufacturing sector.

But people much smarter than me are on record as saying volumes will grow between now and 2022, indicating that things will continue to gradually get better. The positivity train is rolling when it comes to freight’s growth prospects. Let’s get on board.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
Click Here to Download.
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....