Keep on trucking: ATA says mode will continue to dominate in U.S.
Trucking will remain the largest mode of freight transport in United States into the next decade despite robust growth in rail intermodal and air freight, according to a forecast commissioned by the American Trucking Associations.
The report, U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2018, produced for ATA by Global Insight, projects trucking's total tonnage share to rise to 69.7 percent in 2012 and to 70 percent by 2018 from 69 percent in 2006.
'We're an important part of the quality of life in this country,' said Bill Graves, ATA’s president and chief executive officer. 'The United States achieved economic greatness with the help of a state-of-the-art transportation system. And trucks will continue to lead the freight landscape.'
The forecast puts rail intermodal and air freight as the two fastest-growing segments, although neither mode will have more than 2 percent of the total tonnage market by 2018.
Total rail tonnage (including carloads and intermodal units) will edge up to 14.7 percent of domestic tonnage in 2018 from 14.6 percent in 2006. Water passage tonnage, which accounted for 6.5 percent of the domestic transport market in 2006, is expected to expand by 1.6 percent a year, on average, over the next six years and 1.5 percent a year thereafter through 2018.