The Freight Forecast for the Next Decade Looks Good: Here’s How to Prepare

The US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026 was published earlier this summer and contains information that could have serious implications for shipping and the entire logistics industry. Armed with this information, shippers are under pressure to begin making plans for the projected growth. Here are some of the more pertinent points from the report and a few suggestions about how to act on them.

Increasing Freight Volume
One of the most startling projections is that freight volume will increase by approximately 30% over the next decade. Trucking freight in the US will see a small decline in market share of about 4% over the same period, but it will still be the dominant mode for transporting goods for the foreseeable future. Pipelines will be one of the main contributors to growth, and will have a market share of approximately 18% by the end of 2016.

The big question is how this will impact the overall revenue of the shipping industry. Freight revenue is being touted for an increase of approximately 75% over the next decade. This means that revenue will reach a record of $1.52 trillion.

New Equipment
One of the other main aspects of the forecasting relates to the physical aspects of truck shipping. The existing Class 8 fleet will need to increase by approximately 400K over the next 10 years from 3.5 million to 3.9 million. The NADA Used Car Guide estimates the mean retail price of a Class 8 truck with less than 1 million miles on the clock to be $56K. At this rate, the total spend on additional trucks will account for $23.52 million. This doesn’t even take into account new trucks or inflation.

The volume of data published in the Freight Forecast, and the subsequent analysis, should mean that shippers will be anxious about how to meet the issues arising from it. Problems such as the capacity crunch and driver shortage will be exacerbated by the growth. Shippers must streamline their processes in order that their operations can run as smoothly as possible. Here are four steps:

1. Keep Your Drivers Happy
2. Maintain Flexibility in Docking Times
3. Be as Organized as Possible
4. Automate as Much as Possible
5. Consistently Plan, and Plan to be Consistent

Learn more about the freight forecast.