Money Monday: Diesel’s decline dampens rates, NAFTA truck freight grows

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Updated Jan 23, 2015

On the first Money Monday of 2015 (yes, we skipped a week), rates are flat, but that’s partially due to the continuing free fall of diesel prices and carriers’ subsequent changes to fuel surcharges.

Also, NAFTA freight increased in October, according to the DOT, with trucking’s share of cross-border freight seeing a sizable uptick in value.

Here are some key indicators from the recent week:

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Rates steady, despite fuel surcharge headwinds: Flatbed and reefer segments saw small rate upticks (1 cent and 2 cents, respectively) in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, while van saw a small decline (1 cent), according to DAT Solutions’ weekly Trendlines data. DAT points to falling fuel surcharges as a hindrance to rates. As surcharges slip, total rates may decline with them, DAT says.[/gttable]

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Trucking picks up cross-border freight’s gains: The value of freight moved between the U.S. and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico rose 4.9 percent year over year in October to $108.2 billion, according to a DOT report in the most recent week. The value of freight carried by trucks grew 7.2 percent from the same month last year to $66 billion. And of the $5.1 billion total year-over-year increase in NAFTA freight, trucking picked up $4.4 billion.[/gttable]


Reported on CCJ last week

Here are three other indicators reported last week by CCJ, but still deserve inclusion in Money Monday:

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Truck orders point to strong environment for carriers: Class 8 truck orders ended their best year since 2004 in December and their second highest year on record. Carrier profits, pent-up demand, fuel economy gains and stronger freight environment all contributed, analysts said.[/gttable]

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Rates slide in second half of 2014: Though rates in reefer, dry van and flatbed segments boomed in the first half of 2014, they settled a bit in the second half of the year, capped by a final slide in December.[/gttable]

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Trucking employment rallies: The for-hire trucking industry added 7,300 jobs in December, according to the Department of Labor’s monthly employment report, released Friday. The economy as a whole continued strong job growth, adding more than a quarter-million jobs. The country’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent.[/gttable]