ATA’s U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2023 looks optimistic

At a time when the economic recovery has clearly hit a soft patch and the economic road map remains highly uncertain, the road to recovery is being paved for future success.

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At a time when the economic recovery has clearly hit a soft patch and the economic road map remains highly uncertain, the road to recovery is being paved for future success.

That was the main takeaway from the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2023, which was produced by the ATA, IHS Global Insight, and Martin Labbe Associates.

As has been the case in previous versions of this report, trucking continues to lead the way, when it comes to freight transportation market share, with 67 percent of tonnage and 81 percent of revenue in 2011.

And the report added that overall freight tonnage is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2023, with revenue expected to increase by 59 percent during that same period. Looking at tonnage, the report said that trucking’s share of total tonnage will increase by 2 percentage points to 69.6 percent by 2023, with trucking’s share of freight revenue heading up to 81.7 percent from 80.9 percent.
Looking at other modes, the report expects rail’s overall share of tonnage to decline from 15.7 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2023, while intermodal is expected to increase 6.2 percent annually between 2012-2017 and then at a 5.4 percent annual clip through 2023.

On the slower end, due to far less market share, is domestic waterborne tonnage, which is expected to grow 1 percent annually between now and 2023, while domestic airfreight tonnage is expected to grow more than 4 percent annually through 2023.

Even with the challenges we are dealing with now—and in recent years—this report bears out the fact that things are poised to improve. Yes, it will take some time, but we will eventually get there.

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

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