A Below Par Peak Season for Freight

The United States Bank’s Freight Payment Index, which measures quantitative changes in freight shipments and spending activity based on past transactions. The most recent quarter, quarter four, had a few surprising notes based on the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index.

  • The index had gone down in four out of the previous five quarters. 
  • While there are lower volumes, the spending on truck services did not fall as much in the fourth quarter. 
  • The average price of diesel lowered during the quarter
  • Finally, national shipments had contracted 4.6% in the final quarter of 2022. 

A Below Par Peak Season for Freight

There are a number of high points in the report, but one of the most intriguing is that regional shipments had a less uniform change. There was only one region in the United States that had seen an increase in shipments, which was the Southwest. The Southwest includes Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. The remaining regions throughout the country all saw a decrease in regional shipments during the fourth quarter when compared to the third quarter. This is a shocking revelation as 46 out of the 50 states had shown a significant loss in regional volume, with the West regional being down 10.6%. This is likely due to shippers moving their import freight over to the East Coast. 

FreightWaves recently posted their 2023 Top 500 For-Hire Carriers, which gives information on carriers throughout the country. FreightWaves is the most trusted provider of global supply chain market intelligence. With the combination of the rise of drivers, owner-operators and small carriers leaving the market, it is expected that the recent list would be bleak. However, as a whole, tractor counts are up 3% and trailers are up 8%. These numbers had increased as the equipment that had been ordered previously in the Summer and Fall of 2022 is finally being delivered. There are an estimated 1.5 million trailers registered, which is an astounding number. 

A Below Par Peak Season for Freight

The top 10 on the FreightWaves list did not see much change, with FedEx and UPS in the top two spots. One surprise readers may see is that Tennessee is home to more tractors than any other U.S. state. The following is the official top ten for-fire carriers in the United States: 

  1. UPS Inc.
  2. FedEx Corp. 
  3. XPO Logistics
  4. J.B. Hunt Transport Services
  5. TFI International
  6. Landstar System
  7. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings
  8. Schneider
  9. Old Dominion Freight Line
  10. Yellow Corp. 

The top 10 on the FreightWaves list

Further news covers the startup in Mexico, which is known as Nowports. Nowports is a digital freight forwarder, which is based in Monterrey, Mexico. Nowports will officially be opening their first United States office in Miami. The Mexico News Daily reported the rise in East Coast imports was the main deciding factor in choosing Miami. This expansion into Miami by Nowports makes the United States the eighth country it has expanded into. Nowports currently reside in Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, and Panama. This is one of the many logistics companies that is valued over $1 billion in 2022, which is also known as unicorn status. 

Within the Nowports press release, Alfonso de los Rios, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer believes that transforming supply chains in emerging markets will stimulate economic growth of that area. Furthermore, the office in Miami will help create a stronger commercial relationship between the United States and Latin America, with the digitization of supply chains being a crucial aspect of that growth. 

Freight Peak Season Was Disappointing


Overall, it may be surprising to see that the fourth quarter of the freight season had seen such a disappointing economic status. The United States Bank’s Freight Payment Index highlighted a few major points that had come up within the fourth quarter like spending on truck services had not gone down, the average price of diesel lowering, and national shipments had contracted 4.6% in the final quarter.  There is some hope for the upcoming 2023 year in terms of the freight industry, with the addition of Nowports and the equipment finally being delivered during the 2022 season. 

For those looking to have objects moved, whether it be a prized vehicle, a beat up junker, or any other pieces of cargo, contact a Ship A Car representative today to get started!