December 11, 2009

Index: Truckload rates remain at or below 2000-02 levels

North American Truck Load Rate Index shows that truckload rates on many key traffic lanes have risen little—if at all —since 2000-02.

By Mark B. Solomon

Truckload rates on many key traffic lanes are at or below levels from the 2000–02 period, a stark reminder of how the economic downturn, a freight recession, increased competition, and overcapacity have spawned a near-lost decade for truckload rates.

The North American Truck Load Rate Index, which is maintained by consultancy Trans-Research International Inc., tracks truckload pricing trends for virtually all truckload operations in major U.S. markets.* It found, for example, that in 2001, the rate for a 53-foot dry van moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles was $1.34 a mile. Today, the rate on that lane is $1.32 a mile.

From Dallas/Fort Worth to Atlanta, the rate today is $1.36 a mile, compared to $1.38 in 2001, the index found.

The index is based on paid freight bills and doesn't include applicable fuel surcharges. It only covers shipper-loaded and consignee-unloaded shipments.

The consultancy says the examples of static freight rates are repeated across virtually every major U.S. traffic lane except for loads going in and out of Florida and into New England.

*An earlier version of this article said that the North American Truck Load Rate Index is maintained by IHS Global Insight. This was incorrect. The Index is maintained by Trans-Research International Inc.

About the Author

Mark B. Solomon
Executive Editor - News
Mark Solomon joined DC VELOCITY as senior editor in August 2008, and was promoted to his current position on January 1, 2015. He has spent more than 30 years in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management fields as a journalist and public relations professional. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in Washington as a reporter for the Journal of Commerce, covering the aviation and trucking industries, the Department of Transportation, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, he worked for Traffic World for seven years in a similar role. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Solomon ran Media-Based Solutions, a public relations firm based in Atlanta. He graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C.

More articles by Mark B. Solomon

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