An uptick in freight demand and pricing in recent days pushed up a spot market trucking index and pierced some gathering third quarter gloom.
The Internet Truckstop Market Demand Index rose 7 percent from the previous week, according to the load-matching service’s weekly Trans4Cast report.
“The flat-line trend for trucking metrics broke this week, with volumes and rates moving significantly to the upside,” said Jeremy West, ITS economist.
The overall average equipment rate increased 4 percent to $2.17 from $2.10 per mile the previous week, ITS said. Van rates were up 7 percent to $1.92 per mile.
Specialized truck rates on the load board rose 4 percent on average to $2.54 per mile, and rates for refrigerated equipment rose 3 percent to $2.21 per mile.
Flatbed rates were flat from the previous week at $2.10 per mile, ITS reported.
The 7 percent week-to-week increase was a sharp rise in the Market Demand Index following a slighter 2 percent increase in both of the two prior weeks.
West attributed the bump to a “mildly improving economic climate” and a seasonal gain in loads, but warned the trucking outlook is still “relatively weak.”
Two large carriers, truckload operator Landstar System and less-than-truckload company ABF Freight System, are reporting weaker than expected demand.
FedEx lowered its quarterly earnings forecast on weak global air freight demand.