#Distribution#Logistics#Freight Rail#Freight Rail Projecti#Logistics

The freight and distribution industry forecast

For those of you wondering where the distribution industry is heading, check out this piece by Robert Faletra on CRN.com, where some of the futures pos...

Freddie Pierce
|May 24|magazine6 min read

For those of you wondering where the distribution industry is heading, check out this piece by Robert Faletra on CRN.com, where some of the future’s possible supply chain issues are tackled.

But for those of you who prefer to see arguments backed by figures, the distribution industry looks like it’s going to be dominated by trucking instead of freight rail over the next 10 years.

The US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022 by the American Trucking Association and analysts HIS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates predict freight tonnage in the U.S. will grow 24 percent by 2022, with revenue in the industry rising 66 percent.

Those numbers will have trucking way out in front of rail in the freight transport industry in both tonnage and revenue.

In 2010, trucking was responsible for 67 percent of freight tonnage and 81.2 percent of freight transport revenue, while rail freight accounted for 15.3 percent of overall tonnage.

By 2022, the report predicts that trucking’s freight tonnage share will rise to 70 percent in terms of freight transport tonnage. Freight rail is projected to fall to 14.6 percent by 2022.

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Intermodal transportation looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the forecast. Intermodal transport tonnage is expected to increase yearly by almost 7 percent between 2011 and 2016. That spike will lead to a sharp jump in intermodal transport revenue, jumping from $11.1 billion last year to an estimated $30.7 billion in 2022.

Sea freight numbers will show “very modest growth,” according to the report.

While U.S. President Barack Obama continues to push for high-speed rail and renovations in existing rail infrastructure, it looks like we’re more than 10 years away from seeing any drastic changes in the freight rail business.

Check out tomorrow’s feature on freight rail, and why traffic is expected to double by 2050