Research2020-09-22T10:31:26-04:00

Passport Research

Passport provides proprietary insights into the transportation and logistics sectors, using surveys, fundamental research, financial modeling and simulation modeling. Passport takes that data and information to offer subscribers unparalleled deep research, analysis and insight on trends and conditions in the freight market.

Passport’s analysts go deep into major topics, providing information about the latest news and trends in surface and air transportation. Subscribers will also receive the latest on freight tech, warehouse automation, precision scheduled railroading, the economy, global trade and other topics that impact the world of freight. The Passport research team uses methods most commonly offered by Wall Street banks and market research firms.

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  • Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

    Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue getting more expensive through Q4, but in general we expect next month to be positive for rates. In 2019, reefer spot rates peaked for the year during the week of Nov. 17.   In our view, absolute reefer capacity — the total number of trucks available for dispatch — is

Recent

Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

By |October 15th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Shippers, Trucking|

Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue

Intermodal markets: JBHT and KCS earnings on Friday

By |October 14th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

On Friday, we’ll hear third-quarter financial results from two important players in the intermodal industry: J.B. Hunt and Kansas City Southern (KCS). In our view, the most important issues at stake are the degree to which the respective management teams believe the COVID-juiced surge in intermodal volumes is sustainable into

3PLs

Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

By |October 15th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Shippers, Trucking|

Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue

Carrier Outlook

Q2 2020 Carrier Outlook: The worst is ahead

By |April 15th, 2020|Carrier Outlook|

The second quarter may prove the toughest in recent history. GDP estimates vary greatly, but all point to a very weak economic environment as long as we do not have COVID-19 contained. We are likely months away from consumers regaining confidence and returning to pre-crisis spending levels. Until then, we

Q1 2020 Carrier Outlook

By |January 7th, 2020|Carrier Outlook|

Carriers have no clue where loads and line-haul rates are heading in the first quarter of 2020. The outlook for load volumes is split evenly between higher, lower and sideways, with one-third of carriers choosing each.  The story is much the same for line-haul rates. While it is not a

Financials

The SPAC boom

By |August 28th, 2020|Featured, Financials, Special Topic|

For the past six or seven years, an important growth driver of large private equity funds was the fact that private company valuations were higher than public market valuations, so investors and employees of companies had incentives to stay private longer.   But in the past two years, technology company

Multimodal COVID analysis

By |July 30th, 2020|3PLs, Financials, Special Topic, Trucking|

In our view, COVID-related demand and capacity dislocations have touched off an upcycle in trucking markets supported by fundamentally constrained capacity. This week, a new batch of corporate earnings (UPS, WERN, USX, CHRW) helped us understand how transports experienced that volatility.   In 2020, COVID-related volatility hit parcel carriers first

ECHO earnings: looking for spot volumes

By |July 23rd, 2020|3PLs, Financials, Special Topic|

Echo Global Logistics’ (NASDAQ: ECHO) second-quarter results and management commentary confirmed our basic view of the trucking market, which is that tighter capacity has made markets more sensitive, and strong volume growth is pushing spot rates up. Positive revenue guidance for Q3 was another strong signal of a fundamentals-driven recovery

Freight Market Outlook

Q2 2020 Freight Market Outlook

By |April 22nd, 2020|Freight Market Outlook|

The end of the first quarter will be characterized as a freight frenzy in which volumes surged 30% and capacity quickly tightened to the tune of OTRI nearly reaching 20%. To start Q2, volumes are well below "normal levels" and capacity is extremely loose. Unfortunately, we do not feel we

Global Trade

Reshoring on the rise

By |October 1st, 2020|Featured, Global Trade, News, Shippers, Special Topic, Trucking|

Global trade as a percentage of global GDP peaked in 2006 for a variety of reasons.   Geopolitical tensions are creating more friction in global trade, while automation is smoothing out the labor cost arbitrages that shifted manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia in the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, more

Reinventing maritime transport: The rise of autonomous vessels

By |July 31st, 2020|Global Trade, Technology|

The maritime industry has witnessed seismic technological disruption in the past decade, with process digitalization and automation of select operations helping improve transparency and logistics efficiency. Aside from disrupting back-end operations, automation is now increasingly relevant at the port terminals and on container vessels.     The growth of trade across

Intermodal

Intermodal markets: JBHT and KCS earnings on Friday

By |October 14th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

On Friday, we’ll hear third-quarter financial results from two important players in the intermodal industry: J.B. Hunt and Kansas City Southern (KCS). In our view, the most important issues at stake are the degree to which the respective management teams believe the COVID-juiced surge in intermodal volumes is sustainable into

Intermodal markets: Escape from LA

By |October 9th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Another wave of rate and service volatility, the product of high volumes and tight capacity, will work its way through the country from its source in Southern California. Rates out of Los Angeles spiked as intermodal tender rejection rates, which only come into play during periods of serious disruption, are

Intermodal markets: Rolling strong into Q4

By |September 30th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal volumes were still up mid-single digits in Week 39 (up 5.5% year-over-year), even as railroads raise prices on shippers and intermodal marketing companies and congestion at Southern Californian ports worsens.   Ocean bookings data, particularly on the trans-Pacific, indicates that imports will stay strong for at least the next

Rail

Intermodal markets: JBHT and KCS earnings on Friday

By |October 14th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

On Friday, we’ll hear third-quarter financial results from two important players in the intermodal industry: J.B. Hunt and Kansas City Southern (KCS). In our view, the most important issues at stake are the degree to which the respective management teams believe the COVID-juiced surge in intermodal volumes is sustainable into

Intermodal markets: Escape from LA

By |October 9th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Another wave of rate and service volatility, the product of high volumes and tight capacity, will work its way through the country from its source in Southern California. Rates out of Los Angeles spiked as intermodal tender rejection rates, which only come into play during periods of serious disruption, are

Intermodal markets: Rolling strong into Q4

By |September 30th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal volumes were still up mid-single digits in Week 39 (up 5.5% year-over-year), even as railroads raise prices on shippers and intermodal marketing companies and congestion at Southern Californian ports worsens.   Ocean bookings data, particularly on the trans-Pacific, indicates that imports will stay strong for at least the next

Shippers

Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

By |October 15th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Shippers, Trucking|

Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue

Reshoring on the rise

By |October 1st, 2020|Featured, Global Trade, News, Shippers, Special Topic, Trucking|

Global trade as a percentage of global GDP peaked in 2006 for a variety of reasons.   Geopolitical tensions are creating more friction in global trade, while automation is smoothing out the labor cost arbitrages that shifted manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia in the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, more

Special Topic

Asset operators: Roll on highway, roll on along

By |October 9th, 2020|Featured, Special Topic, Trucking|

All signals are flashing green for truckload carriers. Growing revenue per driver per week and falling empty-mile percentages pushed operating ratios down, giving carriers more confidence to purchase new and used equipment.    In most lanes in the country, carriers hold pricing power and will be able to increase contract

Reshoring on the rise

By |October 1st, 2020|Featured, Global Trade, News, Shippers, Special Topic, Trucking|

Global trade as a percentage of global GDP peaked in 2006 for a variety of reasons.   Geopolitical tensions are creating more friction in global trade, while automation is smoothing out the labor cost arbitrages that shifted manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia in the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, more

Technology

Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

By |October 15th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Shippers, Trucking|

Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue

Intermodal markets: JBHT and KCS earnings on Friday

By |October 14th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

On Friday, we’ll hear third-quarter financial results from two important players in the intermodal industry: J.B. Hunt and Kansas City Southern (KCS). In our view, the most important issues at stake are the degree to which the respective management teams believe the COVID-juiced surge in intermodal volumes is sustainable into

Trucking

Reefer markets: Spot rates at YTD highs

By |October 15th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Shippers, Trucking|

Reefer capacity remains tight, volumes are strong and spot rates are very high. In fact, at $3.29/mile including fuel, national average reefer spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards have not yet retreated from their YTD high.   Midwest to the East Coast lanes have the most momentum and may continue

Asset operators: Roll on highway, roll on along

By |October 9th, 2020|Featured, Special Topic, Trucking|

All signals are flashing green for truckload carriers. Growing revenue per driver per week and falling empty-mile percentages pushed operating ratios down, giving carriers more confidence to purchase new and used equipment.    In most lanes in the country, carriers hold pricing power and will be able to increase contract

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