Freight tonnage set to grow nearly 30% over the next decade

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Updated Dec 21, 2021
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ATA expects truck’s share of the freight tonnage will slowly decline from 72.2% in 2021 to 71% in 2032, but overall volumes to grow across all segments of the industry.

American Trucking Associations is forecasting a robust freight economy in the coming decade in its report, U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast 2021 to 2032.

While ATA expects trucking's share of the freight tonnage will slowly decline from 72.2% in 2021 to 71% in 2032, it expects overall volumes to grow across all modes: truckload, less-than-truckload and private carrier. Truck tonnage, it expects, will grow from 10.23 billion tons this year to 13.7 billion tons in 2023.

    “With a focus on the supply chain this year, it is key we understand that among the many stressors on the system, the simple growth in freight demand and the economy is a significant factor,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “After falling 6.8% in 2020, freight volumes are set to surge 7.4% this year, and we will see continued growth in freight demand across all modes for the foreseeable future.”

    ATA expects total freight tonnage to grow from an estimated 15.1 billion tons in 2021 to 19.3 billion tons in 2032 – a 28% increase – and the total revenue derived from primary freight shipments in the U.S. to increase from an estimated $1.083 trillion in 2021 to $1.627 trillion in 2032.

    “Trucking is continuously looking forward, and Freight Forecast is a tremendous tool for industry leaders and policymakers to see what the future holds for the transportation sector,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Forecast is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in understanding not just the trucking industry, but the entire freight economy.”