U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index Sees High Q3 Freight Shipment and Spend Levels, Some Deceleration

The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index – a tool designed to assess the current state of the freight industry in the US – showed declines in the third quarter compared with the second quarter in 2018.

The changes between quarters were driven by several factors, including a moderating US economy compared with the previous quarter and other factors like Hurricane Florence and potential early signs of tariff impacts. On a year-over-year basis, however, the overall freight spend increased by double-digits despite lower freight shipment volumes, which reflects higher average freight transaction prices.

US freight shipment volume in Q3 decreased 5.2% from the second quarter and is down 1.1% from the same period last year. The amount spent on US freight costs in Q3 decreased 1.2% from the second quarter, but is up 13.5% from the same period last year. This is driven in large part by the constrained trucking capacity in the US.