Truck shipments rose in June from May but were down year-over-year, while freight spending by shippers declined, according to Cass Information Systems.
The Cass Freight Shipment Index rose 1.3 percent from the previous month but was down 1.3 percent from June 2011, as manufacturing slowed, Cass said Friday.
For the second quarter, freight shipments were only 0.3 percent higher than in the same period in 2011, compared with a 1.8 percent increase in the first quarter.
“Truck shipments are mostly flat, despite strong growth in movements of seasonal produce and oil shale fracking products,” Cass said in its monthly report.
That shows the economic slowdown working its way into trucking. The freight shipment index rose 1.8 percent in May from April and 2.2 percent year-over-year.
Freight expenditures dropped 0.1 percent in June from May, the first decline in freight spending since February, and were down 0.9 percent from a year ago.
In May those expenditures were up 2.2 percent month-to-month and 5.6 percent year-over-year, according to the last report from Cass.
“The tenuous (trucking) capacity equilibrium has not yet started to exert upward pressure on rates,” Cass said. Current rate hikes mainly aim to cover expenses.
“With the peak shipping season fast approaching, forecasts do not indicate that it will be robust,” said the freight bill payment company.