Freight tonnage will grow 25.6 percent by the end of the next decade, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) predicts in its annual ATA Freight Transportation Forecast: 2019 to 2030.
Overall freight tonnage will grow to 20.6 billion tons in 2030, up from 2019’s projection of 16.4 billion tons. Industry revenues will increase 53.8 percent to $1.601 trillion over the next decade.
Trucking’s share of total freight tonnage will dip to 68.8 percent in 2030 from 71.1 percent this year, even as tonnage grows to 14.2 billion tons in 2030 from 11.7 billion tons.
Intermodal rail, air and domestic waterborne transportation will show modest growth. Pipeline transportation will surge 17.1 percent in tonnage and 8.6 percent in revenue over the next decade, according to the ATA report, which was released on August 21.
“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 ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
“Freight Forecast clearly lays out why meeting challenges like infrastructure and workforce development are so critical to our industry’s success,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
The ATA is pushing for a $0.20 per gallon increase in the federal excise tax on gasoline and diesel over four years as a way to shore up the nearly broke Highway Trust Fund, which distributes money for interstate projects and improvements.
The association also is trying to recruit young people to driving careers by making 18- to 20-year olds eligible to drive Class 8 trucks across state lines after training. ATA pegged the shortage of long-haul drivers at 60,800 at the end of 2018.