CCJ Indicators: Freight edges down, rates are OK, diesel projected to remain flat in 2015

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Updated Mar 13, 2015

Trucking industry and economic indicators in recent months have sunk some from the up-and-up seen in the latter part of last year.

Reports from the most recent week continue the trend:

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DOT data shows freight decline: The Department of Transportation’s monthly Freight Transportation Services Index declined 0.2 percent in January, signaling a drop in the amount of freight moved in the U.S. It was the second straight month of decline, following an all-time high in November. However, the amount of freight carried in the month, according to the index, was up 5.6 percent from January 2014.[/gttable]

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Diesel price forecast upped for 2015: More from government analysis this week — the per-gallon price for on-highway diesel is now expected to average $2.89 this year. That’s a 4-cent increase from the Department of Energy’s prediction made in February, but it would be a nearly $1 drop from 2014’s average of $3.83. The DOE projects the price to jump to $3.25 in 2016, however.[/gttable]

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DAT Solutions Freight Index Infographic

Freight and rates dip: Freight availability on the spot market was down 6 percent in February from January, according to DAT’s monthly North American Freight Index. It was also down 37 percent from what DAT calls an “extraordinary” February 2014. Truckload rates also fell in the month compared to last February, but the linehaul portion of the rates rose year over year. Van linehaul rates climbed 6.7 percent, reefer 7.7 and flatbed 8.4.[/gttable]