While trucking comprises the largest share of freight trucking in the US, with about 70%, the freight trucking rates are starting to increase. That means shippers will soon have to pay more for moving their cargo by truck. The Journal of Commerce reports that US Truckload rates are up 3.8% year-over-year in April 2015. This is based off of a study from Cass Information Systems. Overall, trucking rates are up about 5%. This might not sound like a lot, but when compared to other forms of transportation, and when you consider that 5% can mean a lot for a supply chain, then it really adds up.
There are many circumstances that attributed to this recent truckload increase. Capacity might be the biggest culprit. It is no secret that capacity is hurting the trucking industry, and the concerns about the amount of space on a truckload are having an impact on rates. New regulations are forcing trucking companies to recover their expenses through rate increases. These new laws include driving times, electronic logging and speed limits. Finally, truck drivers are also responsible for the increased rate. There is a lack of available truck drivers. Carriers, eager to keep their current drivers happy, are giving them raises.
While the economy is still in the same state, and spot market rates are down, it is a surprise to see truckload rates increases. Even intermodal rates are down, though only to stay competitive with trucking. The best way to get a great truckload rate is through a knowledgeable freight forwarder who has the right partnerships.