U.S. Trucking & Freight Transportation Trends For 2016

What goes up, must come down and vise versa. Read on to learn about the top transportation trends for 2016!


In July 2016, the American Trucking Associations’ seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index (TTI) was down 2% month over month following June’s 1.6% decline. TTI measures the gross tonnage of freight transported by motor carriers for a given month. Year over year, the TTI was up 0.3% in July. The year-to-date tonnage is up 3.2% compared to the same period last year.

Dry-van rates through early September 2016 are $1.72 per mile based on a four-week rolling average. This rate is down 2.3% year over year. The year-over-year rate stabilization appears to be driven by easier comparisons from this time last year and stabilizing fuel prices.

Through early September 2016, the flatbed rates were $1.79 per mile on a trailing four-week basis. This rate is down 8.1% year over year. Weak industrial demand, more available capacity and lower fuel surcharges contributed to the decline.

Freight Trends Graph

Containerized Ocean Traffic

In August 2016, the inbound containerized ocean volumes at all U.S. ports grew 5.2% year over year. Demand increased as the summer came to a close. To date, full year volumes are up 3% year over year. It is expected there will be a slight container growth for 2016 overall.


CSX reported the third quarter of 2016’s volume was down 9.6% year over year. NSC reported carloads were down 5% year over year during the third quarter of 2016. The decrease reported by NSC is likely due to weak coal volumes.

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