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Important Transportation Trends and Updates

We track and analyze transportation trends each month. Take a look at the trends from the past few months of 2015:

U.S. Trucking Trends

The seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index from the American Trucking Association (ATA) was down 0.5 percent month over month in June 2015 after a 0.8 percent growth in May 2015. Year over year, the tonnage index was 1.8 percent higher in June 2015 compared to a 1.5 percent increase in May 2015. Year to date, tonnage is up 3.5 percent.

Through early August 2015, the dry-van rates in the spot market were $1.82 per mile. Lower diesel prices have reduced fuel surcharges overall. On a four week rolling average, spot rates are 15.6 percent lower year over year.

Flatbed rates in the sport market were $2.08 per mile on a trailing four week basis through early August 2015. Lower fuel surcharges and more available capacity have been contributing factors to the recent decline in spot rates.

Global Containerized Ocean Traffic

In June 2015, inbound containerized ocean volumes at all U.S. ports rose 6.4 percent year over year. The eastbound trans-Pacific ocean container spot rates continued to fall through most of July before recovering towards the end of the month as congestion eased at the west coast ports. Rates in the first half of 2015 averaged 8 percent lower than 2014 rates.

Ship charter lease rates continued to decline in July 2015. As congestion at the ports has eased, charter activity will continue to decline through the end of the year. Since 2008, it is estimated that capacity has grown 40 percent while demand is up 20 percent. 2015 capacity is expected to grow 8 percent year over year and continue to grow in 2016.

Rail Trends

CSX reported 2015 third quarter volumes down 3.5 percent. NSC reported carloads down 3.7 percent due to weak coal, metal and grain volumes. Overall volumes have been negatively impacted by metal, petroleum, sand and gravel volumes this quarter.

Take a look at the trends in a graphical representation:

Supply Indices
Supply Indices

Demand Indices
Demand Indices

Rate Expectations Trend Remainder of 2015
Rate Expectations

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