Trucking industry expects steady growth through 2024

The trucking industry has grown rapidly in recent years. A new comprehensive report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said these trends will likely continue well into the next decade, which means fleet management software may play an important role in increasing efficiency and reducing overhead costs.

The ATA's "U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2024" is the latest in an ongoing series of reports that examine the current state of the freight industry to predict future market behaviors. According to an official press release from the organization, federal government agencies frequently reference these reports when preparing for future initiatives or regulations.

While the report examines the activity of all forms of freight within the U.S., the authors of the study concluded trucking will lead the way in industry-wide growth over the next several years.

"The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello stated in the release.

In fact, trucking fleets will account for 81 percent of the nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue expected from the freight businesses in 2024. The report also predicted truckload volumes will increase at a steady pace of 3.2 percent each year until 2018, when it will decrease to 1.1 percent annually.

Using transportation software to keep costs low
Such a rapid expansion in trucking activity can come with unique growing pains for fleet managers. Logistics software and other route management services can help businesses limit overhead costs as they adjust to an increase in activity. IBIS World, a global business intelligence leader, said the long-distance freight trucking industry is recovering steadily from setbacks caused by reductions in consumer spending as a result of the Great Recession. Recent economic improvements have signaled a growing demand for trucking. However, these trends could also generate a significant boost in competition that may present fleet managers with unexpected challenges.

"During the five years to 2018, IBISWorld projects that industry revenue will grow," a press release from the organization stated. "However, the industry is not expected to surpass pre-recession revenue levels until 2016; the majority of growth during the five-year period will be recovery."

Fleet management software is a valuable tool for businesses that depend on the ability to limit overhead costs while expanding production. Automating the process of identifying the most efficient transportation routes can make all the difference in allowing businesses to treat an increase in demand as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.