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Trucking Industry News and Trends

Information Source: Georgia Innovation and CRI

When you look at the trends in the trucking industry it can help you determine what may happen in the future. Below are some recent domestic trucking and rail trends.

Domestic Trucking

The adjusted tonnage index was 4.4% higher year over year in November of 2014, compared to a 4.5% year over year gain in October of 2014. Overall, the 2014 year to date tonnage is up 3.3%, while in 2013 the tonnage was up 6.3%. The tonnage index was up 3.5% month over month in November 2014 which followed a 0.5% increase in October 2014.

The dry-van rates in the spot market through early January of this year (2015) were up $2.16 per mile. Tight capacity is continuing to cause higher pricing year over year. On a four week rolling average, spot rates are up 5.4% year over year. When looking at our work, it indicates an expectation of tighter capacity has driven earlier contract pricing discussions. Shippers are seeing 5%+ rate increases in 2015 compared to 3% year over year in 2014.

Through early January of this year (2015), flatbed rates in the spot market were $2.14 per mile on a trailing four week basis. This number is up 2.8% year over year. Most flatbed carriers are focused on contract rate increases in the mid to upper single digits for this year (2015) compared to the year of mild to high single digit rate increases last year (2014).

Rail

Through the end of December in 2014, CSX reported that Q4 volumes were up 6.0% year over year. NSC reported carloads up 4.3% year over year during the same period (December 2014). NSC reported these carloads up due to strong stone, petroleum, and intermodal volumes. CSX coal volumes have been up significantly year over year due to the replenishment of utility stockpiles.

Through the end of December 2014, UNP reported that Q4 volumes were up 6.45 year over year. BNSF reported volumes were up 2.8% for the same period (December 2014). Note that BNSF has seen service issues and limited capacity limit volume growth in Q4. UNP has benefitted from a portion of the BNSF overflow freight.

For more information on the recent trends, contact us.

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