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North American Freight Increases in June

by Morgan Bell | Aug 02, 2016

After three months of slow performance, the North American freight market showed an increase in June. Shipment volumes in June 2016 increased 1.7 percent from May and expenditures rose 3.9 percent according to the latest Cass Freight Index Report.  

Cass found that despite the growth, both volumes and payments remained well below the levels seen in the last several years. Shipments for the month were still down 4.3 percent from last year and 7.6 percent from June 2014. Despite the second largest monthly increase this year, expenditures were 8.8 percent below 2015 levels. Cass, a logistics payment solutions provider, attributed the moderate growth in 2016 primarily to weak global trade volumes and economic growth in the United States.    

As reported by American Shipper, the Association of American Railroads saw U.S. railroad traffic up 29.3 percent for carload shipments and 23.4 percent for intermodal. The American Trucking Associations reported that truck tonnage was up 2.7 percent in May, and DAT Solutions reported that spot market loads increased 28 percent in June, indicating that truck tonnage will also rise in June.  

Stores are stocking up on school supplies in preparation for back-to-school shopping, which contributed to a portion of the June growth.  

“Consumer spending has been growing, although the effect on freight is small as most of this increase has been in the service sector (which hired 256,000 new workers in June),” according to Cass. “While the second quarter was stronger than the first, the mixed signals in the air make the third quarter uncertain.”

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