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Freight Volume Strong, Pricing Even Stronger

| November 1, 2017


As a leading economic indicator, both the Shipments and Expenditures Indexes extended their run of positive year-over-year comparisons, according to the latest data.

The overall freight recession, which began in March 2015, appears to be over and, more importantly, freight seems to be gaining momentum in most segments.

Throughout the U.S. economy, we are continuing to see a growing number of data points suggesting that the economy continues to get incrementally better. Shipments turned positive ten months ago, while Expenditures turned positive nine months ago.

The 3.2% YoY increase in the September Cass Shipments Index is yet another data point which confirms that the first positive indication in October was a change in trend. The October 2016 Cass Shipments Index, which broke a string of 20 months in negative territory, was one of the first indications that a recovery in freight had begun.

The numbers suggest that consumers are finally starting to spend a little. It also suggests that, with the surge in the price of crude in October of last year, the industrial economy’s rate of deceleration first eased and then began a modest improvement led by the fracking of DUCs, especially in the fields with a lower marginal production cost.

The DAT Dry Van Weekly Barometer indicates stronger demand and tighter capacity in this key freight group. This is believed to be driven in part by the hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) which first displaced equipment, then drove recovery and rebuild volumes.

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Category: Featured, General Update, News

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