Cass Truckload Linehaul Index

A Measure of Market Fluctuations in Truckload Costs

As the nation’s largest payer of freight bills, Cass manages more than $26 billion annually in freight spend, enabling Cass to compile meaningful logistics data that serves as an indicator of transportation industry trends. The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index™ is a measure of market fluctuations in per-mile truckload linehaul rates, independent of additional cost components such as fuel and accessorials. Cass partners with analyst firm Avondale Partners, who provides the analysis we offer each month.

August 2015

Truckload linehaul rates paid rose 3.7% year over year in August, after being up 3.6% in July and 3.6% in June. Although spot market pricing is down, new contract rates continue to filter into the index at higher levels.

Watch for demand to continue to increase steadily. The transportation analysts at Avondale Partners stated, “We expect the decline in industrial freight flows, especially related to oil and gas exploration, to be more than offset by a stronger consumer backdrop.”

Avondale has also lowered its prediction for linehaul rate increases for 2015 “from a range of 4% to 9% to a range of 3.5% to 5.5% in 2015.” Why this adjustment?

  • The relaxation of the 34 hour restart rule (no longer must include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. time frames) added approximately 1% to the nation's over-the-road capacity;
  • Several significant pay increases have allowed many carriers to decrease their unseated truck count materially, which effectively increases capacity (i.e. number of trucks on the road);
  • The slightly younger age of the nation's truck fleet has increased capacity slightly as new trucks spend less time in the shop;
  • The dramatic fall in rig count has increased the pool of available drivers while decreasing the demand for industrial freight.

Cass Truckload Linehaul Index August 2015

Cass Truckload Linehaul Cost Trends Index August 2015

View data points from 2005-present.

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Index Definition

The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index™ is an accurate, timely indicator of market fluctuations in per-mile truckload pricing. The index isolates the linehaul component of full truckload costs from other components (e.g. fuel and accessorials), providing an accurate reflection of trends in baseline truckload prices.

Data within this unique index is derived from actual freight invoices paid on behalf of Cass’ clients, which totaled over $26 billion in 2013. The index uses January 2005 as its base month.

Cass partners with the securities analyst firm Avondale Partners LLC to publish this Index.  

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