Despite up-and-down numbers over the last quarter, U.S. freight volumes are slowly improving. Tonnage is still down over last year but the gap is narrowing as 2009 comes to a close. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) believes the trucking industry is on the road to recovery.
The ATA advance seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index decreased 0.3% in September, after increasing 2.1% in both July and August. ATA argues that the recovery will be moderate and choppy and that the industry shouldn’t be alarmed with the “miniscule” drop in September.
Business researchers appear to generally concur with the ATA’s analysis and cautioned the industry “not to get too excited” over the monthly numbers through the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010. They project a second quarter 2010 recovery due to dropping inventory levels.
The trend towards industry recovery is not yet translating into higher freight rates though. Businesses are still in belt-tightening mode and are continuing to operate a reduced inventory levels, even as consumers are beginning to buy again. The lack of freight demand has created excess capacity, which has resulted in carriers dropping freight pricing to compete for the little business out there.
While the drop in freight rates has been damaging to the freight industry, this competition has been a boon for Freightquote’s customers – those companies which are still shipping. As rates drop, Freightquote’s online freight management system helps shippers find the best shipping solution available – from the best rate to the best delivery options – all from reputable carriers.
As the economy recovers and rates inevitably rise again, Freightquote is the best place for shippers to stay on top of the rate changes. Whatever the increase, Freightquote’s shippers are assured of the lowest prices as a result of its experience, relationships and technology. These factors – and the efficiency of Freightquote’s system – will assist its shippers in weathering the economic storm.