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ATA U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026

A new report released today by American Trucking Associations projects freight volumes will increase by nearly 29% over the next 11 years. “The outlook for all modes of freight transportation remains bright,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in releasing U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026. “Continued population growth, expansion of the energy sector and foreign trade will boost trucking, intermodal rail and pipeline shipments in particular.” Forecast, a collaboration between ATA and IHS Global Insight, projects a 28.6% increase in freight tonnage and an increase in freight revenues of 74.5% to $1.52 trillion in 2026.


Truck-Friendly Tolls for 21st Century Interstates

Of all highway users, the trucking industry has the most at stake in ensuring a solid future for the Interstate highway system. Together with the other principal routes that comprise the National Highway System, the 47,000 miles of Interstate are for trucking companies what the air traffic control system is for airlines—their primary arteries of commerce. The importance of the Interstates will be even greater in coming decades, since the U.S. DOT forecasts there will be 40% more trucks on the road by 2045. But the continued viability of the Interstates is now in question. These vital arteries were constructed largely in the 1960s and 1970s with a 50-year design life. Over the next two decades, most Interstates will exceed their design lives and will need to be reconstructed— their original pavement replaced, not just resurfaced. In addition, the projected increase in traffic—especially truck traffic—means that many of these corridors will require additional lanes over...


The Great Port Mismatch

The United States traded over $4 trillion worth of international goods in 2014, ranging from raw agriculture to advanced precision instruments. The enormous variety of exports and imports powers American industries, allowing industrial and household consumers to enjoy cost-effective products and exporting producers to access global markets. Even with a transition to a more service-based economy, goods trade still represents a vital component of economic growth. America’s international ports—the water, air, and surface transportation facilities that handle global goods—are either the first or last place a good touches domestic soil, and therefore they are vital components in trade networks. With towers of containers sitting on docksides, flocks of cargo planes parked at airports, and lines of trucks on both sides of the borders, ports are often the clearest visual evidence of all the goods trade taking place across the country.