June 5, 2014 11:20 AM, EDT
May Cass Report Hits Three-Year Record

The May Cass Freight Index Report showed a 3.6% rise in shipments over the same month of last year and reached the highest level since May 2011, indicating continued strength in cargo markets.

The report, based primarily on trucking shipments, rose 1% on a year-over-year basis and has improved for four months on that basis, said Cass Information Systems, a subsidiary of a St. Louis bank.

“Freight continued to gain momentum and accelerated in the second quarter,” said the report, written by economist Rosalyn Wilson. She also wrote that a recent downward revision of first quarter gross domestic product isn’t an indicator of future economic trends.

The index also includes rail, barge and air shipments and is based on more than $20 billion of freight bills paid annually.

The report includes a freight spending index that signals rate trends. That index rose 11.2% year-over-year and 1.1% in May over April, reaching a record high, reflecting higher trucking costs and rates related to drivers and equipment.