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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ATA report: Trucking's share of freight to grow, rail's share to shrink through 2025


Freight traffic growth will continue not just for the trucking industry, but for the freight economy overall over the next 11 years, according to a recent American Trucking Associations (ATA) report.

Published as a collaboration between ATA and IHS Global Insight, the "U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2025" report predicts overall freight tonnage will grow 23.5 percent and freight revenue will surge 72 percent from 2013 to 2025. In addition, the report states that trucking's share of freight tonnage will grow from 69.1 percent in 2013 to 71.4 percent in 2025.

"We continue to see growth for the entire freight economy – but we also see that trucking will maintain its position as the nation's dominant mode of freight transportation," said ATA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bob Costello in a press release.

The report — which includes regional breakdowns of freight movements — also predicts that rail intermodal tonnage will grow 5.5 percent annually through 2019 and 5.1 percent per year through 2025. But railroad market share will shrink from 14.5 percent of all tonnage in 2013 to 13.8 percent in 2025, the report states. Truckload volume is projected to increase 3.5 percent annually through 2019, then 1.2 percent annually from 2020 to 2025.

"However, truckload carriers will make greater use of intermodal rail for intermediate- and long-distance hauls," ATA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/23/2014