January 10, 2017 5:40 PM, EST

Highway Ton-Miles to Rise Almost 50% by 2045, USDOT Says

Richard Carter/Flickr

Freight-ton miles, the movement of one ton of freight for one mile, are expected to rise by almost 50% by 2045, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Jan. 10.

Freight-ton miles are expected to increase to 7.6 trillion in 30 years, according to a new report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Federal Highway Administration.

The prediction, from the newest Freight Analysis Framework, was increased from a 2015 forecast of 5.1 trillion miles.

The new projection is the first release of ton-mile numbers from the updated FAF series using the base year of 2012.

Trucks currently are by far the single most-used mode to move freight, moving 64% of the tonnage in 2015 and 69% of the value, according to a previously released DOT report.

Estimates by DOT show that in 2015, nearly 18.1 billion tons of goods worth about $19.2 trillion were moved on the nation’s transportation network. On a daily basis, 49 million tons of goods valued at more than $53 billion are shipped throughout the country on all transportation modes.

By 2045, total freight on all transportation modes — air, vessel, pipeline, rail and trucks — is projected to reach 25 billion tons while the value is expected to grow to $37 trillion, according to DOT.