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Tightening Truck Capacity Looms Over Shippers

As the US economy continues to bounce back from the recession and business commerce grows, so does the demand to move products from suppliers to manufacturers to customers – mostly via truck. But recent burdens on the transportation industry are beginning to take a toll on trucking company carriers, and therefore, on “shippers” or companies who rely on trucks to ship products.

In order to best support and attract the manufacturing industry, it is important for communities to understand how truck capacity constraints are impacting the distribution of products and look for ways to help companies alleviate these issues.


Trucks continue to be the preferred mode of shipping for most manufacturers and distributors in the US. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), in 2014, trucks carried 9.7 billion tons of freight, or over 69 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation for retail and manufactured goods. Truck carriers collected over $680 billion in revenues, which was over 80 percent of total revenue in the domestic transportation industry. (The next highest utilized mode is rail, with approximately two billion tons, or 15 percent of the total.)

According to ATA, annual total tonnage in  2014 represents a 3.3 percent increase from 2013, with economic indicators continuing to point upwards going into 20151. As U.S. commerce continues to grow,  freight tonnage will also continue to increase, requiring even more trucks to keep up.

Michelle Comerford

Project Director / Industrial & Supply Chain Practice Leader

Michelle Comerford is the Industrial & Supply Chain Practice Leader at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., one of the largest, most highly regarded site selection and incentives advisory firms in North America. BLS & Co. helps manage the complexities associated with finding optimal location and securing incentives to support new ventures. Michelle has recently been published in fDi Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Trade & Industry Development, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, among others.

Economic Development Journal
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