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Colography Group Predicts Transportation Growth for 2006

The U.S. transportation industry will have another strong year in 2006, paced by gains in the trucking sector, according to The Colography Group Inc. in its annual projections for the $98 billion U.S. expedited cargo market.

By contrast, the Atlanta-based company said activity in the domestic air market will be muted, with shipment volumes rising next year by only 1.2 percent over 2005. The U.S. air export category, however, is expected to climb 7.3 percent in year-over-year shipment levels.

Overnight letter shipping is projected to see a 0.6 percent decline because of e-mail and the migration of airfreight traffic to surface transport.

The report also expects ground parcel and the less-than-truckload categories to show shipment growth of 5.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. Combined, the categories will account for 86 percent of new U.S. expedited shipment growth in 2006 as 250 million new shipments will be added to U.S. expedited commerce in the coming year.

Other findings:

· The gains posted by the non-integrated air carriers will coincide with a continued rebound in the U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail, particularly in the rural residential market where commercial carriers are raising their rates the most.

· The continuing high cost of crude oil will force carriers to maintain fuel surcharges and will become a more important factor in supply chain decision making.

· Revenue from less-than-truckload shipments is projected to rise 11 percent in 2006, in part because of the impact of escalating fuel surcharges. Revenue for the average less-than-truckload shipment is projected to increase 7 percent. In all, U.S. expedited revenue will reach $97.9 billion in 2006, up 7.6 percent from this year.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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