Freight spot rates are rising in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as the industry responds to shipping demands from the affected regions.
Freight demand in November rose 5.7 percent from a year ago and will rise in 2017 because of strong retail sales and housing markets, the American Trucking Associations said.
American Trucking Association’s Chief Economist Bob Costello blames a 5.8 percent decline in truck tonnage on a soft freight market. Net trailer orders last month plunged 66 percent from the same period in 2015.
Analysis from the American Transportation Research Institute finds that, for the first time, truck driver wages make up a larger percentage of costs than fuel.
Werner Enterprises and Knight Transportation missed investor expectations for profits in the first quarter, blaming sluggish freight demand for the declining earnings.
Truck tonnage was up for the month of December, but 2015 was still a difficult year overall.