07/22/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2021 23:26
Truck freight spending in the U.S. increased at record levels in the second quarter of 2021, according to the Q2 2021 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index. Spending jumped 10.1% over the first quarter levels, bringing the total measure to the highest recording in the history of the index. A quarterly analysis of national shipments and spending launched in 2017, the index utilizes data going back to 2010.
While still below pre-pandemic levels, the number of truck freight shipments also increased significantly in the second quarter, up 4.4% from the first quarter. The improvements in shipments are a result of strong truck freight demand as key economic activity, like construction and retail, continued to rebound in the first half of the year.
'We are seeing a continued rise in demand for freight shipments and this is expected to only increase as the economy continues to recover and retailers work to replenish their inventories,' said Bobby Holland, U.S. Bank vice president and director of Freight Data Solutions. 'At the same time, the industry is facing one of the largest supply crunches in history, driven in large part by a major truck driver shortage. This shortage, along with rising fuel prices, is causing considerable spending increases for shippers.'
In addition to the 10.1% increase during the second quarter, the U.S. Bank National Spend Index rose 44% year-over-year. Additionally, each of the five regions saw double-digit growth in spend, including two (Southeast and West) which exceeded 50% increases versus last year.
'The jump in the spend index reflects just how tight truck capacity is right now,' said Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. 'With demand for trucking services high and shippers still needing to meet their timetables, they're paying more to move product. As we continue to work through structural challenges like driver shortages, we expect the spend index to remain elevated.'
In addition to the 4.4% increase in shipments during the second quarter, the U.S. Bank National Shipments Index rose 6.8% year-over-year. The shipments index remains below peak pre-pandemic levels. Three of the five regions (Southeast, Southwest and West) saw growth in shipments versus 2020, while the remaining two (Northeast and Midwest) contracted just slightly.
While each region improved compared to the first quarter of 2021, the new regional indexes highlight how different geographic areas and industries are emerging from the pandemic at different paces. The regional data was, however, consistent in that all regions experienced strong spending growth.
To see the full report including in-depth regional data, visit the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index website.
For more than 20 years, organizations have turned to U.S. Bank Freight Payment for the service, reliability, and security that only a bank can provide. The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index measures quantitative changes in freight shipments and spend activity based on data from transactions processed through U.S. Bank Freight Payment. The business processed $31.4 billion in 2020 for some of the world's largest corporations and government agencies.