Freight Revenue Will Soar While Trucking’s Share Declines

August 29, 2019 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Economic and population growth will push annual freight revenue past $1.6 trillion a decade from now, according to new projections from the American Trucking Associations.

The trucking industry trade group projects a 25.6 percent increase in freight tonnage by 2030.

“America’s trucking industry, and the overall freight transportation industry, are poised to experience strong growth over the next decade as the country’s economy and population grow,” said Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist.

The ATA publishes its forecast annually. The finding’s in this year’s report include:

  • Overall freight tonnage will grow to 20.6 billion tons in 2030, up 25.6 percent from 2019’s projection of 16.4 billion tons.
  • Freight industry revenues will increase 53.8 percent to $1.6 trillion over the next decade.
  • Trucking’s share of total freight tonnage will dip to 68.8 percent in 2030. That’s down from 71.1 percent this year.
  • Trucking’s tonnage will grow to 14.2 billion tons in 2030 from 11.7 billion tons this year.
  • Trucking’s revenue will be about $1.1 trillion in 2030.
  • Both trucking and total rail transportation will lose relative market share, even as revenues and tonnage grow. Intermodal rail, air and domestic waterborne shipping will show modest growth. Pipeline transportation will experience explosive growth – surging 17.1 percent in tonnage and 8.6 percent in revenue over the next decade.

At least for now, the trucking industry is logging robust growth. It grew almost 10 percent last year, according to the ATA. Trucking revenue soared to $796.7 billion in 2018 from $700.1 billion the previous year.

Trucks moved 11.49 billion tons of freight last year, or 71.4 percent of the nation’s tonnage freight. Trucking’s revenues accounted for 80.3 percent of the nation’s freight bill.

Jerry Hirsch August 5, 2019
The market for new Class 8 trucks continued to deteriorate in July with motor carriers placing orders for just 9,800 vehicles.

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