Freight demand is picking up slightly as trucking leaves the summer doldrums, but only slightly, according to load matching service Internet Truckstop.
The company said its ITS Market Demand Index rose last week as load availability and truck searching numbers increased while truck availability decreased.
Though broader economic barometers improved marginally, “the transportation sector continues to stagnate,” Jeremy West, ITS economist, said in a statement.
“It remains to be seen whether this (improvement) will translate into improved trucking volumes and help break the industry out of its current flat pattern.”
That pattern was apparent in last month’s truck tonnage figures from the American Trucking Associations, which were flat compared with June.
The ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index climbed 3.7 percent year-over-year, but was decelerating on a monthly basis as the economy sputtered forward in July.
Higher diesel prices could put pressure on trucking. The average cost of diesel in the U.S. rose 6.3 cents in the week ending Aug. 27, the fifth weekly increase in six weeks.