How Does the Future Look for Trucking?
Truck drivers, carriers, and economic analysts have plenty of data to study in the freight transportation industry. Planning ahead based off the numbers is what separates good companies from great ones in terms of their performance.
A report last year said the trucking industry could look forward to slow but steady upward progress beginning in 2017. Despite a few small hindrances in the overall trend of improvement, trucking has seen things take a positive turn as the year has progressed. Now the same forecast that called the previous improvements with accuracy claims the upward trend will likely continue in the future.
The American Trucking Associations released a forecast last week, detailing some good things to look forward to in terms of freight volumes and overall freight performance when compared to other industries.
Trucking is expected to remain the primary freight mode in the U.S., moving well over 10 billion tons of freight this year. While all forms of freight movement are increasing, trucking will see freight volumes increase by 2.8 percent. The growth isn’t expected to slow until after 2023.
A 3.4 percent growth rate is also predicted over the next several years, with ATA’s chief economist citing higher levels of economic activity being one of the chief catalysts in the trucking’s growth over the next five years. Steady population growth has helped to usher in this new economic activity, and a continuation of this trend means trucking will still see a 2.3 percent annual growth rate once things slow down around 2023.
The slower growth rate will last for about five years, completing ATA’s original prediction of steady growth in the freight industry over the next decade. Freight tonnage is expected to grow over 40 percent in the forecast period, and revenue from hauling goods is expected to rise 89 percent through 2028.
In addition to general economic growth and an increasing population size, greater output in the manufacturing sector combined with higher overall consumer spending will help to fuel rapid growth. Even though tonnage itself is expected to drop as things level out, the total volume of goods transported will still increase substantially. Trucking is expected to see higher increases than any other current mode.