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.
For years, I’ve been chuckling under my breath at transportation conferences whenever I hear shippers speak about how important it is to be “good business partners” with their carriers. Experience has shown me that once they walk off the stage, their actions tell another story. The “win-win” rhetoric gives way to “we win, you lose” when it comes time to work on a contract. That’s starting to change.
Over the decades I’ve seen capacity ebb and flow, but nothing compares to January when millions of truck miles just evaporated into thin air. Sure, the goofy weather and booming economy contributed to the capacity crunch. But ELDs were the main […]
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Canadian shippers saw the cost of ground transportation drop by 1% in October when compared to September, according to the Canadian General Freight Index compiled by Nulogx.
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.
BOLTON, ON – Titanium Transportation Group continues its search for companies to acquire, focusing mainly on Ontario-based truckload fleets with cross-border van or flatbed business.
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.
ATLANTA, GA – Crews are working to reopen I-85 in Atlanta by June 15, following a massive bridge fire that was once expected to close the route for several months. But DAT Solutions doesn’t expect the structure’s collapse to affect the trucking industry that much anyway.
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.
BLOOMINGTON, IN – Analysts at FTR are reporting a tighter freight capacity for shippers this year, but believe that “regulatory drag” will likely be slowed under the Trump Administration and a Republican-controlled US Congress.
LAS VEGAS, NV – Several indicators suggest that the U.S. trucking industry is approaching the end of an economic downturn. But broader economic growth is still being slowed by uncertainty around the U.S. election — and the global rise in populism, nationalism and isolationism, a leading U.S. economist says.
TORONTO – People are paying more to have their freight moved, despite lower fuel prices.
According to the most recent report from logistics management consultants Nulogx, the total cost of ground transportation for Canadian shippers increased by 1.0% in November when compared with October results.
“Overall, total freight costs continue to rise while fuel decreases,” said Doug Payne, president and COO of Nulogx. “Total and base freight cost increased in all sectors with the exception of domestic LTL. Year over year, cross-border truckload costs have increased while total costs in the other sectors have decreased.”
BEAVERTON, OR – Freight rates slipped lower for vans, flatbeds and reefers, the first indicator of a more typical, slow winter freight season.
Nashville, IN – Economy is getting better modestly, supporting a 3 percent tonnage growth, but not enough to support stronger pricing, reports FTR.
MEMPHIS, TN – FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates by about 3.9 percent, effective March 31.