The U.S. heavy truck sector is back in the fast lane again. After a long slump during the Great Recession, sales of heavy trucks have picked up significantly and look poised for sustained growth over the next decade, according to the American Trucking Associations’ research.
The ATA, a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, recently released the latest edition of its “U.S. Freight Forecast to 2024.” The report announced “an overall increase in freight volumes for all modes of more than 20% and an increase in the amount of that freight moved by trucks.”
The ATA forecasts that trucking’s share of freight tonnage will grow to 70.8% by 2024 from 68.5% in 2012.
“The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. In the next 11 years, the ATA predicts that: “Overall freight revenue will grow by 63.6% to $1.3 trillion annually in 2024 and trucking will see its share of those revenues rise to 81% from 80.7% in 2012.”
Other recent reports also contribute to a new sense of optimism for the trucking sector’s near-term prospects, as well. Consider the following.
The financial news website Seeking Alpha writes that the industry has been showing slow but steady growth in recent years and that trend should continue. “The improving economy is seeing an increase in trucks on the road as manufacturers put more stock in transit to wholesale and retail outlets,” Seeking Alpha reports. “This is translating into profits for the trucking industry as they increase the road miles and also improve efficiencies.”
The online industry trade magazine Fleet Owner also paints a rosy picture for the near-term. It reports that, despite a tough winter chill, the prospects for freight firms “seem to be looking up” these days. “Indeed, the freight apple may be about as ripe as it’s ever going to get where trucking is concerned,” Fleet Owner concludes.
And the Houston Chronicle reports that a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently said that “transportation and trucking are booming areas and are seeing a demand for labor.”
News such as this is music to our ears at Shaw Development, where the heavy truck sector is one of our most important markets.