There are a variety of ways in which products are shipped within the United States and abroad. The most valuable commodities transported by the United States freight transportation system, however, are electronics, machinery, and motorized vehicles. Given the steady increase in e-commerce, there have been many changes in the manner in which commodities are shipped.
A Brief Overview of the Cargo Transportation Industry
In order to transport goods, almost 12 million locomotives, rail cars, trucks, and vessels are used for this purpose. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that there are roughly 5.9 million commercial vehicle drivers currently operating within this country.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trucking industry alone transported almost 15 billion tons of cargo during 2013. By 2040, this industry is expected to transport 18.79 billion tons of cargo, which includes full-truckloads, lighter than load (LTL), and parcels.
The United States’ e-commerce revenue is currently worth approximately $423.3 billion. As a result of the steady increase in purchasing products online, carriers are being required to adjust to these industry changes. It’s interesting to note that many of these commodities will be shipped at less than a full load.
Logistics and Transportation Industry Spending
In 2015, spending within this industry was reported at $1.48 trillion. This represented an annual gross domestic product of eight percent. The United States Department of Transportation reported that the value of cargo shipped in 2007 was $882.00 per ton. They estimate that by 2040, the value of this cargo will be $1,377 per ton. It’s interesting to note that the current LTL market is estimated at $35 billion.
Types of Specialty Services
When companies and/or manufacturers require specialty freight services, there are a variety of available options. These are just a few of the different types of specialty services:
- Expedited shipping services
- Intermodal shipping services
- LTL shipping services
- Overweight shipping services
Whether expedited shipping services are needed for trade shows or other types of special events, it’s important to remember that LTL and other types of services are available. Given the growing demand for electronics, machinery, motorized vehicles, and other products, the landscape of the transportation industry will continue to meet consumer needs.