Freight shipments jumped 6.9 percent in March, with tonnage increasing across transportation modes, according to the Cass Freight Index.
Year-over-year, freight shipment volume rose 13.8 percent in March, according to the monthly index of freight spending and shipping activity.
The gain in March was the first sizeable monthly rise in shipment volume tracked by the Cass index since last August. Shipments rose 2.6 percent in February.
Freight spending by shippers rose 6.3 percent in March, on the heels of a 12.5 percent increase in February. Year-over-year, freight payments rose 33.6 percent.
"Production at U.S. factories has continued to climb as businesses restock and reinvest in inventory, fueling the growth in transportation shipments," said Cass Information Systems, which processed $17 billion in freight bills last year.
Over the past year, the growth in transportation spend has outstripped shipping volume by a wide margin as rates rise across the board, the company said.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.