Key Transportation Trends From The First And Second Quarters Of 2016

Tracking transportation trends helps us predict what may happen in the future. Take a look at the most recent trends in the transportation industry:

U.S. Trucking

In April 2016, the American Trucking Associations’ seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.9% month over month, but in May it increased 2.7% month over month. Year over year the tonnage index increased 5.7% in May 2016.

In June 2016, dry van rates were $1.85 per mile based on a four week rolling average. That is the highest average since July 2015.

Flatbed rates in June 2016 were $1.97 per mile based on a trailing four week basis. This rate is down 9.4% year over year. With the weak industrial demand, more available capacity and lower fuel surcharges have contributed to the decline in rates.

Global Containerized Ocean Traffic

In June 2016, inbound containerized ocean volumes at all U.S. ports were up 1.6% compared to last year. The volumes in June 2015 were lower due to sluggish demand. Year to date, volumes are up 3.2%. At the same time in 2015, the volumes were up 3.9%.

Ship charter lease rates remain low since the market is oversupplied in ocean capacity. Since 2008, capacity has grown 40% while demand has only grown 20%. The capacity is estimated to continue to grow in 2016. The excess space is expected to be a headwind for rates in the foreseeable future.


CSX reported their second quarter volumes are down 8.2% year over year. NSC reported carloads are down 6.7% year over year. The decrease is due to weak coal and metal volumes.

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