April 17 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. trucking firms fell on Wednesday, after dismal quarterly numbers from JB Hunt Transport Services and Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings signaled a longer wait for a rebound in the freight industry.

Freight companies have been grappling with reduced transport volumes on account of a shift in consumer spending from goods to services, combined with global shipping delays.

In what TD Cowen analysts called an "ominous start for transport earnings", JB Hunt missed first-quarter estimates on Tuesday as it struggled with weak demand for intermodal services — its biggest segment.

Knight-Swift trimmed its profit forecasts for the first and second quarters earlier on Wednesday, blaming an oversupply of capacity in the trucking industry, disruption from frigid weather in January and increased pressure on freight rates with shippers trying to push down prices further.

"The bottom has become longer and deeper than feared ... even with an inflection in either demand or supply in the coming months, ongoing weakness ... could set JB Hunt's revenue and margins back for much of the remainder of the year," said Evercore analyst Jonathan Chappell.

Knight-Swift's report was "worse than the worst case", Chappell said, adding both reports confirm "the greater pressure at the end of the freight recession ... and reset the launch pad for an eventual cyclical recovery substantially lower".

At least 11 brokerages cut price targets on JB Hunt.

Shares of JB Hunt and Knight-Swift closed down 8.1% and 4.3%, respectively, while transportation peers such as Werner and ArcBest closed down 2% and 6.2%.

"There does not seem to be a catalyst that can drive a meaningful change in the volume and/or pricing environment," Stephens analyst Justin Long said.

According to TD Cowen analyst Jason Seidl, "Hopes of a (second-half) recovery become increasingly challenged given current setup." (Reporting by Abhinav Parmar, Deborah Sophia and Aatreyee Dasgupta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)