Freight Volumes Remain High as Inventory Levels Stay Low

Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight rates climbed 20 percent year-over-year in June, but slowed from the 25 percent increase the month before, according to new data from Kuehne+Nagel, a global logistics company and a FEDA associate member.

Meanwhile, eight straight weeks of falling diesel fuel prices removed some of the added pressure on rates. As a result, national average spot rates for all major trailer types were down. Still, the market is expected to see increased pressures as warehouses remain backlogged, meaning that rates may not drop further over the next few quarters, Kuehne+Nagel reported. Further, railroads have begun metering capacity from the West Cost inland, which is expected to drive demand to truckload for port and trans-loading moves.

Inventory levels in the industrial market also remain low, which is keeping freight volumes up. Carriers are compensating for demand by adding door count to build greater density in their networks. Kuehne+Nagel further found that carriers are increasingly using dimensioning equipment to check the size and weight of shipments, allowing them to re-price cargo and bring in higher revenues.

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