Freight Rates During the Recession of 2008/2009

As you may know, trucking tonnage fell in December of 2008 a whopping 11 to 14% depending on which source you read. And it dropped (or rose) about one point or so (again, depending on which source you read) in January of 2009. February tonnage is up 3.6% though, so it looks like things are getting back on track. It was a tough winter indeed. Those who hung in there will be glad they did when the market takes another upward step. But for those that did hang in there, the rates were terrible all winter long.

More trucks went out of business in 2008 than any other year in history. That’s not to say more trucking companies went under, just bigger companies with more trucks. So, naturally when the market picks back up, there will be fewer trucks to carry all the freight. This is a supply and demand issue, and all experts agree that if the market goes up as much as it typically does this time of year, rates will surely rise to compete for the available trucks.

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