U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index reflects mixed results in Q1

The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index, a quarterly analysis of freight shipment volumes and spend by companies shipping goods, revealed mixed results for the first quarter of 2019 and moderation after record highs in 2018.

Shipments contracted significantly nationwide, both on a quarterly and annual basis. Freight spending decreased from last quarter but increased slightly from this time last year. Numerous factors impacting shippers and carriers including: extreme weather, international trade uncertainty and the partial government shutdown.

Regional differences varied more dramatically than usual. In the Midwest, crippling snowstorms made shipments challenging and spending was down.
For the Northeast, weather and decelerating manufacturing activity led to slower shipping. In the Southeast and Southwest, shipments fell while spend on trucking rose. On the West Coast, trade trends that spiked volume in Q4 2018, led to softer Q1 2019.

The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index measures quantitative changes in freight shipments and spend activity based on data from transactions processed through U.S. Bank Freight Payment. The business processed more than US$27.6bn in 2018 for large corporations and government agencies.