US truck freight to grow 29% over next 11 years: ATA

by Truck News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The long-term outlook for trucking in the US is rosy, with freight volumes projected to increase nearly 29% over the next 11 years.

That’s according to a new report from the American Trucking Associations, titled US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026.

“The outlook for all modes of freight transportation remains bright,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “Continued population growth, expansion of the energy sector and foreign trade will boost trucking, intermodal rail and pipeline shipments in particular.”

The forecast is available for purchase from the ATA.

“Forecast is a valuable resource for executives and decision makers in both the private and public sector,” ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said. “Knowing where the industry and economy is headed can help shippers and fleets make key business decisions and instruct lawmakers and regulators on the best policies to move our economy forward.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Trucking will still be the dominant mode of freight transportation, although the share of tonnage it hauls dips slightly. Even though truck tonnage grows over the forecast period, trucking’s share will dip from 68.8% in 2014 to 64.6% in 2026.
  • Due to tremendous growth in energy production in the US, pipelines will benefit more than other modes. Between 2015 and 2026, pipeline volumes will increase an average of 10.6% a year and their share of freight will increase from 10.8% in 2015 to 18.1% in 2026.
  • While railroads’ share of freight tonnage will drift down from 14.2% in 2015 to 12.3% in 2026, intermodal freight will be the second fastest growing mode at 4.5% annually through 2021 and increase 5.3% per year thereafter.
  • The number of Class 8 trucks in use will grow from 3.56 million in 2015 to 3.98 million by 2026.

The report can be ordered from


Have your say

We won't publish or share your data


  • What good is it to grow 29% if the freight keeps getting cheaper! with no regulations on freight rates, O/Op will continue to suffer with cheap broker rates, I have not made money in the last year, and its getting tuff to stay at flow, I am making less today… then I made back 10 years ago. Freight rate the not stay at float with inflation and expenses.
    Unless someone steps in, this is going to be get worse! Driver shortage and bad equipment on the road!

    • I agree with the o/ o about not making as much money things are tight it’s getting harder to stay afloat when all these brokers want more money than they want to pay us the drivers . We should be making more than brokers and lease personal it’s bull crap when we are doing all the heavy lifting white collars don’t do anything but push a button on their computers . Things are going to have to change or else