Freight transport volumes in the US fell 8% in 2020

Freight transport volumes in the United States, as measured by the Cass Freight Index, decreased approximately 8% in 2020 compared to 2019.

This result reflects the volatility resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 1995, the Cass Freight Index has been a reliable measure of the freight market.

Overall, Cass’s monthly data and Freight Index report provide valuable insight into freight trends relative to other supply chain and economic indicators and the broader economy.

The data within the index includes all national freight modes and is derived from more than 33 million invoices and more than $ 26 billion in expenses processed by Cass annually on behalf of its customer base of hundreds of large carriers.

Meanwhile, these companies represent a broad cross-section of industries including consumer packaged goods, food, automotive, chemical, medical/pharmaceutical, OEM, retail, and heavy equipment.

In addition, the annual cargo volume per organization ranges from $ 40 million to more than $ 2 billion.

Freight transport

According to the company C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the North American trucking market experienced significant volatility in freight volumes and costs during 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

The impact on the market varied significantly depending on the severity of the restrictions in place to control the outbreak, the industry, and the size of the client.

Certain industries, such as retail, experienced periods of high demand, while other industries, especially smaller customers in those industries, experienced prolonged periods of demand and production well below historical levels.

Industry freight forwarding volumes compared to 2019 bottomed out in the second quarter of 2020, declining approximately 21% before showing growth of approximately 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year.

C.H. Robinson is one of the world’s largest global logistics companies, with consolidated total revenues of $ 16.2 billion in 2020.

Its 2020 ground transportation results were largely consistent with the overall market trends summarized above, although it did experience volume increases in excess of industry trends as measured by the Cass Freight Index.

Despite industry freight volumes declining approximately 8% in 2020, the combined North American Surface Ground Transportation (NAST) and LTL volumes of C.H. Robinson increased about 5.5 percent.