ST. LOUIS — December’s Cass Freight Index Shipments Report increased a solid 3.5 percent from the same period last year to 1.074, Cass Information Systems Inc. reported today. While the result was down 1.2 percent from November, Cass analysts called the December index “the beginning of a more positive trend.”
“We have seen a wide range of results in the different modes, from continued volume growth in parcel and airfreight driven by e-commerce; to a sequential improvement in truck tonnage; to less bad rail and barge volume overall. Data is beginning to suggest that the consumer is finally starting to spend a little."
The Cass Freight Expenditures Index, at 2.274, was still down 3.0 percent from December 2015 but this was less than the rates of contraction in May, June, July and August, Cass stated. The index dropped 1.1 percent from November 2016.
The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index (which does not include fuel) only fell 0.9 percent on a year-over-year basis in November, which was far less than the 3.5 percent decline it posted in September. The Cass Intermodal Price Index faired even better, increasing 1.5 percent in December, marking the third increase after 21 consecutive months of decline.
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