NEWPORT, R.I. – It is a good time to be in trucking in the U.S. The economy is strong, freight needs to move, and rates are on the rise. Eric Starks, the chairman and CEO of FTR, pointed to several indicators during a business symposium for Volvo dealers and customers. The ATA Tonnage Index and FTR Loadings Index, which track absolute freight levels, are both trending upward. The flatbed market in particular has been going “crazy”, in part because of increasing demand to move pipe and fracking sand, the latter of which is moved in boxes, he said. “It’s eating up a huge amount of capacity.” Everything from consumer spending to home sales are adding to the demand.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – The coming year appears to hold the promise of a growing economy, tighter capacity, and ultimately higher rates for those who haul freight.
“When you have the economy doing reasonably well, transportation tends to be generally picking up,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist – Scotiabank, in a presentation during the Surface Transportation Summit in Mississauga, Ontario. He projects economic growth of about 2% in 2018, compared to the 3% seen in 2017.
“The Canadian economy recently has been very strong,” agreed Walter Spracklin, equity research analyst – transportation sector at RBC Capital Markets.
But where railways have enjoyed higher volumes against the backdrop of recent growth, trucks didn’t fare quite as well. Railway volumes surged in part because of the demand for fracking sand, feeding into the 6.5% boost in overall freight that moved over iron highways, he said. Intermodal freight volumes are growing as well, although grain volumes are likely to drop when compared to the strong crops of 2016. Of the Canadian railways, CN is seeing capacity tighten, leading to congestion challenges and a projected boost in capital spending.
ARLINGTON, VA – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is projecting U.S. freight volumes to grow 2.8% this year, followed by 3.4% annual growth through 2023 – a trend that could lead to potential capacity shortages.
BLOOMINGTON, IN – Analysts at FTR are predicting U.S. freight volumes will grow this year, but say rates will likely be stagnant for at least six months.
BEAVERTON, OR – While U.S. truck volumes increased in many van lanes last week, rates are holding steady because of available capacity, DAT RateView reports in its latest findings. Combined with lower fuel surcharges, van and reefer rates actually dipped a penny a mile. Average flatbed rates rose a mere cent on their own.
ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. trucking industry collected record revenues in 2015, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
TORONTO- Truckers hauled more goods in the first half of 2014 than any combined semi-annual volumes on record, according to TransCore Link Logistics’ Canadian Freight Index.
PORTLAND, OR – TransCore DAT North American Freight Index climbs again in May, leaving last year’s record in the dust.
NASHVILLE, IN. – With freight volumes expected to grow, will you be able to raise your rates?