The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), both under the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently released their 30-year projections for the freight industry.
The Freight Analysis Framework, version 4.1, forecasts that total freight volume transported through the U.S. network over the next three decades will increase 40 percent, or 92 percent in value.
In terms of tons and dollars, by the year 2045, cumulative freight transported by every mode (pipeline, air, rail, sea vessel and trucks) will increase to 25 billion tons, or $37 trillion.
Last year, nearly 18.1 billion tons of freight, worth an estimated $19.2 trillion, were transported through the U.S. network, with 49 million tons, worth over $53 billion, moved throughout the U.S. every day. The data set demonstrates that the tonnage will continue to rise, reaching 69 million tons per day 30 years from now, or $101 billion in value, for a total value of $37 trillion in 2045.
This Freight Analysis Framework is the latest, most comprehensive publicly available data set pertaining to freight movement. With these figures in mind, engineers, designers and planners can plan ahead for the changes and improvements that will need to be made to the U.S. transportation infrastructure system.