Spending on truck freight was up 3.3% compared to the first quarter and 19.7% year-over-year, according to the second quarter 2022 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index released today. The West and Southwest regions had the highest year-over-year spending increases at 30.2% and 29.7%, respectively.
“While we’ve seen bigger jumps in spending in other quarters over the past year, the second quarter increases were significant,” said Bobby Holland, U.S. Bank vice president and director of Freight Data Solutions. “Contract carriers seemed to hold their prices relatively steady but high levels of fuel surcharges likely drove up spending.”
The volume of truck freight shipments was up 2.3% in the second quarter, while volume dropped 0.9% compared to the same quarter in 2021. Shipments increased the most in the Northeast, with volume jumping 7.3% quarterly and 8.8% year-over-year.
“We’re seeing a transition in the freight market back to contract carriers and away from the high level of spot market shipping we saw in late 2020 and throughout 2021,” said Bob Costello, the American Trucking Association’s senior vice president and chief economist. “The spot market for freight shipping continues to soften, but the contract market remains solid, even after the economy contracted in the first quarter.”
Second quarter: 6.8%
Year over year: -0.3%
Second quarter: 2.4%
Year over year: 15.8%
The Midwest had the best quarterly shipments reading since the second quarter of 2019. Strong manufacturing output helped truck freight in the region.
Second quarter: -0.7%
Year over year: 9%
Second quarter: 4.3%
Year over year: 30.2%
The West was one of two regions to decline in shipment volumes compared to the first quarter of 2022. Freight activity was negatively impacted by slower – though still historically high – West Coast port activity. Year-over-year spending was the highest in the West in the second quarter among all regions.
Second quarter: 7.3%
Year over year: 8.8%
Second quarter: 2.1%
Year over year: 17%
The Northeast saw its largest quarterly shipments volume increase since Q2 2019. In addition to higher manufacturing output, the freight volumes in the region were likely boosted by housing starts, which were higher than other regions.
Second quarter: -4.3
Year over year: -12.1%
Second quarter: 3.2%
Year over year: 14.3%
The Southeast had its largest quarterly volume drop since Q1 2021 and had the largest year-over-year drop among the regions. Factors for the decline included lackluster retail sales and softer housing starts in the region.
Second quarter: 2.2%
Year over year: 2.6%
Second quarter: 4.8%
Year over year: 29.7%
The Southwest had its fifth straight quarterly gain in spending and was up 29.7% year-over-year, the second most among regions and just barely behind the West (30.2%). Volume and spending gains in the region were boosted by increases in cross-border trade with Mexico.
To see the full report including in-depth regional data, visit the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index website. For more than 22 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 $37 billion in 2021 for some of the world’s largest corporations and government agencies.