Bloomberg | July 15, 2021 | Intermodal News | Rail
Canadian National Railway Co. told its customers on Wednesday that it’s temporarily suspending operations in parts of British Columbia due to wildfires, the latest snarl to rail traffic in the region after recent track damage left thousands of cars idled.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.1% in May from April, rising for the third consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). From May 2020 to May 2021 the index rose 8.1% compared to a decline of 8.9% from May 2019 to May 2020 and a rise of 2.3% from May 2018 to May 2019 (Tables 1, 2, and 2A).
The weeks leading up to Independence Day typically mark an annual peak in spot truckload freight volume and rates following a rush to move goods ahead of the close of June and the July 4 holiday. While last year was an exception, 2021 is starting to follow a more typical pattern albeit at elevated levels: spot rates for van, refrigerated and flatbed freight are on average 70 cents per mile higher than at this time in 2020 and nearly 76 cents higher than the five-year post-July 4 average.
Roads are essential to the world economy, linking people and products through a variety of transport. The freight and haulage sector is at the heart of this, with commercial road going vehicles, such as trucks, making up a large proportion of the way goods are moved across countries and between borders. Last year alone, more than 10.8 billion tons of freight were transported across the US.
As Federal stimulus fades and supply constraints continue, U.S. shipment volumes declined by 4.2% compared to May, on a seasonally adjusted basis. That said, 2021 volumes pulled ahead of 2019 levels in May, and showed a positive comparison again in June.