Truck freight will continue to expand over the coming decade, with truck tonnage growing from 11.3 billion tons this year to 14.2 billion tons by the year 2034, according to a report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
That rise will increase the trucking sector’s share of the nation’s total freight tonnage from 72.4% in 2023 to 72.6% of tonnage at the end of the forecast period, ATA said in its “Freight Transportation Forecast 2023 to 2034.” At the same time, trucking’s revenues will grow from $1.01 trillion in 2023 to $1.51 trillion in 2034, which will account for 78.8% of the freight market.
Those trends contrast with changes in other transportation modes, ATA said. As coal and bulk petroleum shipments wane over time, rail carload tonnage will fall from 11% of total freight to 10.1% by 2034, the forecast concluded.
However, rail intermodal revenues will grow from $21.7 billion in 2023 to $35.2 billion in 2034, air cargo tonnage will grow from 17.6 million tons this year to 23.7 million tons in 2034, and pipelines will see their share of freight tonnage grow from 9.8% in 2023 to 10.4% in 2034.
“The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue, comprising 72.2% of tonnage and 79.2% of revenue in 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “That market share will continue to hold over the next decade, as the country will still rely on trucking to move the vast majority of freight.”