North American freight volumes to grow 29% by 2026

North American freight volumes are expected to increase 28.6 percent by 2026, according to a new report from the American Trucking Associations and IHS Global Insight. The report, U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026, also projects a 74.5 percent increase in freight revenues to $1.52 trillion in the next 11 years. Other findings from the Forecast report indicate that while trucking will remain the dominant mode of cargo transportation, its overall share of the market in terms of tonnage will drop from 68.8 percent in 2014 to 64.6 percent by in 2026. The report projects the number of Class 8 trucks in use will increase from the present 3.56 million to 3.98 million by 2026. Although railway freight will also lose a percentage of the overall market share, dropping from 14.2 percent in 2015 to 12.3 percent in 2026, the report found intermodal freight will be the second fastest growing mode, increasing 4.5 percent annually through 2021 and 5.3 percent per year after that.

In the next 11 years, pipeline volumes will increase an average of 10.6 percent per year and their share of freight will increase dramatically, from 10.8 percent in 2015 to 18.1 percent in 2026, due to tremendous growth in energy production in the U.S. “The outlook for all modes of freight transportation remains bright,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said of the report. “Continued population growth, expansion of the energy sector and foreign trade will boost trucking, intermodal rail and pipeline shipments in particular.”