The reasons for the growth of tariffs for road freight transportation are the increase in fuel prices, the lack of drivers and new trucks from transport companies.
– Freight costs have risen steadily since the beginning of 2021: from 212.2 in Q1, the index rose to 267.5 in Q4, while the shipping index rose from 117.5 to 121.6, according to the Index US Bank Freight Payments (published quarterly by US Bancorp).
Experts also noted an increase in the costs of carriers – last year they increased by more than a quarter: “by 26.5% by 2020 (and by 21.5% compared to 2019), and only in the third quarter they jumped immediately by 8.4%.
As for the increase in fuel prices, here, first of all, diesel fuel should be “noted”: the average price for it, according to the US Energy Information Administration, increased by 9.3% over the period from the 3rd to the 4th quarter, that is, by compared to the last quarter of 2020, diesel has risen in price by almost forty-nine percent.
However, the main reason for the increase in the cost of road freight, according to representatives of the American Freight Association (ATA), was the lack of transport capacity (the so-called capacity). This factor has created more problems for the industry than the sharply increased fuel prices. ATA experts noted that in the companies engaged in the transportation of contract cargo last year, five percent fewer trucks were used than a year earlier.
For example, according to US Bank Vice President and Director of Trucking Data Solutions Bobby Holland, “In 2021, the trucking industry is facing familiar challenges: lack of available drivers, trucks and trailers. This has increased costs for shippers and made it difficult for carriers to carry more cargo.”
However, as ATA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bob Costello noted, demand for trucking is still strong.
“But until driver shortages and various supply chain problems are addressed – including those causing shortages of trucks and equipment – opportunities will be limited,” he stressed.