Truckload carriers continued to fetch robust prices for their services in November, although the pace of rate increases moderated from a near seven-year high in October, according to a monthly index released Wednesday by one of the nation's leading freight audit and payment firms.
Cass Information Systems Inc., which audits and pays $17 billion worth of freight invoices a year on behalf of its customers, said its Truckload Linehaul Index reached a value last month of 108.4, indicating that truckload linehaul rates are up 8.5 percent year over year.
The November data represented a slippage from the October score of 108.8, the highest level since Cass began tracking the data nearly seven years ago. The slight decline correlates with a drop in load activity last month relative to the month before.
The index only analyzes the linehaul component of truckload rates and excludes components like fuel surcharges and accessorial fees. As a result, Cass said, the index is an accurate reflection of trends in per-mile truckload pricing, independent of other elements.
Despite the month-over-month decline, the November results still reflect continued escalation in truckload rates, fueled by capacity reductions, driver shortages, a pickup in freight demand, and decisions by carriers to boost yield by shedding unprofitable or marginally profitable business.