Domestic Shipping Expected to Increase in 2015

The Cass Freight Index reported that domestic shipping increased almost 3% in January, based on data from $22 billion in annual freight transactions, spread over 350 large shippers. A likely downside for the domestic shipping industry this year is having too much business and not enough capacity. The data in the Cass report indicates that the ability to control rates will continue to move in favor of trucking companies, a noticable shift from the industry just a year ago. However, the driver shortages and the ongoing issue of backlogs at West Coast ports may make already strained capacity even worse. The end result can be higher LTL and Volume rates, as trucks would be in hot demand.

Even currently, most carriers don't have the necessary capacity, infrastructure or systems to efficiently move goods if freight volumes rise significantly. Added onto that, problems like bad weather, truck breakdowns, rail and other equipment delays will combine to not only create new freight bottlenecks, but also to push up the cost to move freight.

These forecasts have lead to many carriers in the shipping industry announcing aggressive investment plans already in 2015.