October's Decline in Freight Volumes

Consumption of diesel fuel in the United States has leveled off this year, after two consecutive years of strong demand. Experts say that this slowdown in usage mirrors the slowdown we've seen in inland freight movement, and the larger slowdown in shipping worldwide, compared to 2013 and 2014. Reasons for the slowdown include the strong US dollar and the a slowdown in economies like China and Brazil. The number of empty shipping containers which are returning to Asia has been increasing steadily in the last few months. Fewer exports also translate into less domestic movements to take freight to ports, as well as LTL and intermodal rail shipments. Products being shipped less frequently include things like oil, refined products, manufactured products and raw materials. The American Trucking Association predicts that the latter part of the year will show an increase in domestic volumes, and that the current driver shortage will worsen to 48,000 vacant driver positions.