JOC | LTL Truck Freight Volumes Nearly Stall at ODFL

06.06.16 | William B. Cassidy, JOC

Freight volumes at Old Dominion Freight Line barely increased in May, rising only 0.2 percent, as “ongoing softness” in the U.S. economy dampened shipping demand.

That's a steep drop in the carrier's volume growth rate from the first quarter, when shipments per day rose 4.5 percent. In the second quarter a year ago, ODFL's shipments per day increased 13.8 percent.

“The bad news is that the United States is not likely to see much improvement until late 2016 when the drag on foreign trade winds down and the current moderate excess in economywide inventories is patched up,” Moreno said.

The freight business needs a stronger jolt from U.S. consumers, said Jonathan Starks, chief operations officer of transportation research firm FTR, a partner of “We’ve had one good month, other than that it (retail demand) has been pretty flat for quite a while,” Starks said.

In the meantime, ODFL has chosen growth in some areas. The fourthlargest LTL trucking company opened terminals last month in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and in Lufkin, Texas, in April. ODFL now has 226 terminals nationwide.

Some smaller, regional LTL carriers are also expanding into new territories. That likely reflects a shift in some freightand market share from larger carriers to regional operators.

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