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Fragmented demand portends rambling US freight recovery

The road to recovery for US shippers will likely look more like a mountain switchback than a sharp incline in the second half of 2020. After a miserable March and an awful April, May and June brought slightly better news for the freight transportation sector, as US businesses shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic began to reopen and cargo volumes began to rise from what economists say was likely the low point of the recession.


But the economic recovery for shippers and their transportation partners is still fractured and imbalanced, with a growing level of uncertainty as the second half gets under way. As strong as June often is seasonally for truck freight, July and August can be slow. The rush to restock as businesses reopen may boost summer seasonal volumes, but only if reopenings stay on track.