U.S. Bank Index sees largest-ever freight shipment volume drop

U.S. Bank Index sees largest-ever freight shipment volume drop

Year-over-year data shows Q4 2023 shipments were down 15.7%, while spending by shippers dropped 13.5%.

The U.S. truck freight market ended 2023 with further declines in both shipment volume and spending, according to the latest U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. Compared to the same period in 2022, Q4 shipment volume in 2023 fell 15.7% while spending by shippers contracted 13.5%. The year-over-year drop in volume was the largest in the history of the Index.

“The truck freight market is feeling the impacts of companies reducing inventories significantly as well as consumers continuing to spend more on experiences over goods,” said Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. “We’ll watch carefully in coming quarters if companies complete their inventory reduction efforts and begin to restock, which would help boost trucking.”

All regions in the fourth quarter felt the slowdown in 2023 volume versus the same quarter in 2022, but it was most acute in the Southeast (-25.4%) and Northeast (-23.8%). Spending also dropped in all regions year over year, with the most significant in the Midwest (-17%).

“Throughout 2023, our Index has consistently revealed significant declines in spending by shippers. While spending dropped again in the fourth quarter, we are seeing indications that might suggest trucking supply is coming into balance with demand,” said Bobby Holland, director of freight business analytics at U.S. Bank.

National Data
Shipments
Linked quarter: -10.9%
Year over year: -15.7%

Spending
Linked quarter: -1.4%
Year over year: -13.5%

Regional Data
West
Shipments
Linked quarter: -2.9%
Year over year: -16.3%

Spending
Linked quarter: 0.2%
Year over year: -7.4%

The West was one of two regions to see an increase in spending on a quarter-over-quarter basis, though spending by shippers was still down -7.4% compared to a year earlier. Improved West Coast import volumes may have helped the region’s shipment volumes, which were still down, but less so than most other regions.

Southwest
Shipments
Linked quarter: -18.2%
Year over year: -15.9%

Spending
Third quarter: -2.7%
Year over year: -10.4%

After slowing in Q3, the Southwest truck freight market contracted significantly in the fourth quarter. The region, which was the best for truck freight in 2022 and the first half of 2023, experienced slower retail and home sales in the first half of the fourth quarter, which weighed on truck freight volumes.

Midwest
Shipments
Linked quarter: -8.6%
Year over year: -8.9%

Spending
Linked quarter: 1.2%
Year over year: -17.0%

Midwest shipment volumes contracted the least among all regions compared to the fourth quarter 2022. Soft manufacturing, consumer spending and housing activity in the region have likely contributed to depressed freight volumes, which have persisted for the last few years.

Northeast
Shipments
Linked quarter: -9.4%
Year over year: -23.8%

Spending
Linked quarter: -2.5%
Year over year: -12.5%

The Northeast was one of the most challenged truck freight markets in 2023. Headwinds for the market include consumer spending moderation and manufacturing activity softening.

Southeast
Shipments
Linked quarter: -14.5%
Year over year: -25.4%

Spending
Linked quarter: -4.1%
Year over year: -11.4%

The Southeast had the largest year-over-year drop in volume among all regions. The region has had consistent volume contractions – as well as spending declines – in recent quarters.

You May Also Like

Daimler Truck introduces TruckCharge for EU charging, e-infrastructure

Offering consulting, sales, service, financing and more, TruckCharge will officially launch in Europe, this September.

Daimler-Global-TruckCharge-1

Daimler Truck introduced the TruckCharge brand in Europe, which it said combines the company's existing and future offerings related to EV infrastructure and the charging of electric trucks, including consulting, hardware and digital services. This service targets both truck fleet operators and industrial companies with their own or outsourced truck fleets and is available regardless of the truck brand, the company said. TruckCharge will officially launch at the IAA Transportation in Hanover in September.

ACT Research expects high 2024 Class 8 truck inventory due to overcapacity

“The uptick in 2024 expectations into worsening conditions is a coin toss.” – Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.

Truck-Trailer-Yard-Generic
FMCSA issues CDL standards ruling

The ruling requires state drivers license agencies to follow AAMVA’s CDLIS State Procedures Manual, version c.0.

FMCSA-CDL-final-fule
HDA Truck Pride raises $35,000 for Kids Matter International

With a donation of $100, Kids Matter International provides up to $350 worth of new clothes and shoes to a child in need.

HDA-Truck-Pride-Kids-Matter-International-35000-donation
Peterbilt’s largest EV order comes from Einride

Einride placed an order for 150 Model 579EVs, which Peterbilt says is their largest U.S. EV order to date.

Peterbilt-Model-579EV-order-Einride

Other Posts

ACT Research: Preliminary May Class 8 orders beat expectations

Early data shows Class 8 orders climbed considerably both m/m and y/y, but ACT it’s a slightly different story for Classes 5-7.

ACT-Research-May-preliminary-class-8-orders
Kenworth offering PACCAR MX-13 CARB-compliant engine

The PACCAR MX-13 CARB-compliant engine will be available in the Kenworth T680, T880, and W990, with production slated for Q4 2024.

Kenworth-PACCAR-MX-13-CARB-compliant-engine
PepsiCo picks Tesla, Ford for California EV fleet

PBNA ordered 50 Class 8 Tesla Semi trucks, 75 Ford E-Transit electric vans to more than triple size of its EV fleet.

Pepsi-PBNA-Tesla-Semi
International Truck integrates S13 engine with Allison automatic transmissions

Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series, 4000 Series fully automatic transmissions available for International RH, HX Series trucks, respectively.

International-Truck-S-13-Engine-Allison-Transmission-integration