The trucking industry will continue to dominate domestic freight transportation modes, increasing to 68.2% its share of all freight tonnage moved throughout the United States by 2008, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA) soon-to-be-released US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2014.
“This number represents a gain in market share of 0.8 percentage points and keeps trucking squarely in the driver's seat as the dominant mode of transportation for delivering America's goods,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist and vice-president.
The forecast projects rail will move 13.4% of domestic tonnage (primarily bulk freight) five years from now and that the volume of freight carried by rail intermodal (shared container/truck movements) will be 1.4%. Pipeline will transport 9.3% of freight volume, water passage will move 7.6%, and air deliveries will carry 0.2% of total tonnage.
There is no “free lunch” either when it comes to moving freight, according to another ATA publication, Standard Trucking and Transportation Statistics, or STATS. The bi-monthly bulletin reports that commercial trucks paid $31.8 billion in federal and state highway user taxes in 2000 — $16.5 billion to the states and $15.3 billion to the federal government.