Truckload capacity appears to be tightening again, after loosening in April, according to a key measure of industry equipment supply and demand.
The weekly Longbow Research Truckload Barometer rose 14.1 percent week-to-week in the last week of May, the research firm said in a June 1 note to investors.
That jump followed a 6.1 percent increase in the barometer the previous week, after dropping for several weeks in April and early May, according to Longbow.
The weekly index measures available freight against available truckload equipment, climbing higher as capacity contracts, the Wall Street investment firm said.
In mid-May, the barometer fell 9.2 percent below year-ago levels, its first year-over-year decrease since late 2009. The index is now up 5.4 percent from a year ago.
“Recent channel checks have noted a slight pullback in freight demand in late April and early May,” Longbow said. Other indicators point to a slowing recovery.
The long Memorial Day weekend holiday may have contributed to a temporary contraction in available capacity, Longbow said, as drivers returned home. Seasonal produce demand may also be tightening truckload capacity in parts of the country.
Longbow and other research firms forecast increasingly tight truck capacity thanks to higher equipment costs, fuel costs, driver costs and financing costs.