Freight Spending Soars to Record Highs
Truck freight spending in the United States reached record highs in Q2 of 2021, jumping 10.1% over Q1 levels, says a recent U.S. Bank report. While all regions experienced double-digit growth in spend, different geographic areas and industries emerge from the pandemic at different paces, the report shows:
Northeast: Freight shipments rose 1.5% in Q2 of 2021 but are 1.6% lower than 2020. Freight spending surged by 14.6% in Q2—the largest quarterly gain among regions—primarily due to increased shipments and higher rates.
Southeast: Freight shipments increased 5.8% in Q2, the second-highest level on record for the region. Growth in manufacturing, home construction, and home improvement activity boosted volumes. Freight spending jumped 9% in Q2 to its highest level on record for the region, with fuel price increases contributing to the spending.
Southwest: Freight shipments rose 6.5% in Q2, improved in part by increased truck-supported trade with Mexico. Spending in the Southwest was up 9.8% in Q2, propelled by higher rates and fuel surcharges.
West: Freight shipments rose 7.1% in Q2, supported by solid retail sales, port volumes, and home construction. Freight spending was up 13.9% in Q2, indicating capacity shortages. It is one of two regions (with the Southeast) to see a year-on-year jump of more than 50% in spending.
Midwest: Freight shipments rose 2.5% in Q2 of 2021 but were down 2.1% from the previous year. A major factor for the decline was continued auto production constraints due to microchip shortages. Freight spending rose 7.9% in Q2 and is 32.1% higher than the previous year, as the region experienced a 10% rise in diesel prices.