Price Trends: Trucking

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The cyclical low point in inflation (or, in current environment, deflation) appears to have finally passed. U.S. Labor Department surveys report LTL transaction prices jumped 3.7% from January to February 2010. Of course, that one month didn’t wipe out five consecutive months of LTL price cuts, but any glimmer that recession-induced price concessions may be ending should concern shippers. From the July 2008 peak to the March 2009 trough, average trucking prices fell 8.6% while industry costs dropped 14.7%. Since hitting bottom, prices have inched up 1.5% as fuel-driven inflation has pushed aggregate industry costs up 8%. Our new trucking price forecast:  1.5% annual gain in 2010 and 2% in 2011.

% Change vs. 1 month ago 6 mos. ago 1 yr. ago
General freight - local 0.6 0.8 2.6
Truckload -0.7 -0.5 -1.0
Less-than-truckload 3.7 -1.4 -2.5
Tanker & other specialized freight -0.6 1.0 1.4

Source: Elizabeth Baatz, Thinking Cap Solutions. E-mail: [email protected]

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