by Wolf Richter
But shipment volume, though strong, is not at record levels.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and others have been groaning under surging shipping expenses as freight companies have raised rates, amid bottlenecks and strong demand. The amount these shippers spent in March on shipping goods to their customers spiked by 17% from February, by far the biggest month-to-month spike in the data going back to 1990, according to the Cass Freight Index for Expenditures. But February had already been a record month for freight expenditures. Compared to March last year, just before the sharp decline set in, the Expenditures Index spiked by 27.5%.