The Cass Freight Index of U.S. shipping demand jumped 11.1 percent in May over the same month a year ago, the second straight double-digit increase for the closely watched measure.
The May shipments index released Tuesday also was 2.3 percent better than the April figure, the fourth straight month-over-month improvement and a sign that companies are maintaining efforts to push more goods to factories and stores this spring.
U.S. freight shippers increased their spending 24.7 percent in May over the same month a year ago and 5.6 percent from April, suggesting shipping costs were rising even faster than demand.
The index, which had been showing strong acceleration on a month-to-month basis since December, was at its highest point since November 2008, at the start of the recession.
The shipments index now has grown 19.2 percent since the low point of the downturn in January 2009.
Cass Freight Index: By the Numbers