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.