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.

Subscribers receive timely updates on current events in freight, webinars that provide an in-depth focus on key issues, as well as tailored weekly discussion with the experts on topics or issues that Passport members want to know more about.

  • 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

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

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

3PLs

Reefer markets: Expecting a strong finish to 2020

By |September 10th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, Trucking|

The reefer market is following the dry van market, broadly speaking, and setting new highs in tendered loads, tender rejections and spot rates. The average reefer spot rate on Truckstop.com’s load boards rose to $3.33/mile last week, the highest rate in several years.   Reefer capacity is tighter now than

Trucking markets: Brokers lose control of spot rates

By |September 8th, 2020|3PLs, Trucking|

It’s official: Freight brokers have officially lost control of truckload spot rates. One of the most commonly cited benchmarks in the freight brokerage industry is the important, dense and liquid Chicago to Atlanta lane, which most brokers worth their salt can quote in their sleep. Long suppressed by carrier density

Carrier Outlook

Financials

Freight Broker Earnings Update: Fourth Quarter 2019

By |February 13th, 2020|3PLs, Financials|

In an update to our previous report Broker Performance Through the Cycle, we update our broker model with the recently released fourth quarter data released by the public freight brokerages. Publicly traded brokers that have reported thus far saw revenue contract by 13.3% on average and gross margins compressed by 266 basis

The true cost of detention time

By |January 30th, 2020|Financials, Shippers, Special Topic, Trucking|

Detention time is a growing problem and is costing carriers billions by delaying their return to the road. In this whitepaper, we describe why detention is such a big issue, outline potential ways to solve it, calculate its opportunity cost and analyze the findings from our detention survey from carriers.

Freight Market Outlook

Global Trade

Intermodal

Intermodal markets: Under pressure

By |September 2nd, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

U.S. Class I railroads have largely arrested declines in average intermodal train velocity and lengthening terminal dwell times, but they’re doing so by punishing shippers for tendering surge and spot volumes.    Union Pacific has imposed surcharges of $5,000 on spot intermodal containers outbound from California because previous rate hikes

Intermodal markets: Volumes up 5% with room to run

By |August 26th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal volumes for the U.S. Class Is were up 5% year-over-year in week 24, led by an 8.1% increase in Union Pacific volumes and 8% growth in CSX. Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volumes were up 12.8% year-over-year, but on a smaller base. (KSC moved 11,477 units versus UNP’s 77,457.)  

Intermodal Markets: Operating leverage first

By |August 19th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Consider the fact that across Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern, headcount was down 16.6% year-over-year in July (less negative than June’s -17.9%), yet last week intermodal volumes were up 1.9% year-over-year for the second week in a row.   In particular, the best intermodal volume growth has been

Rail

Intermodal markets: Under pressure

By |September 2nd, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

U.S. Class I railroads have largely arrested declines in average intermodal train velocity and lengthening terminal dwell times, but they’re doing so by punishing shippers for tendering surge and spot volumes.    Union Pacific has imposed surcharges of $5,000 on spot intermodal containers outbound from California because previous rate hikes

Intermodal markets: Volumes up 5% with room to run

By |August 26th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal volumes for the U.S. Class Is were up 5% year-over-year in week 24, led by an 8.1% increase in Union Pacific volumes and 8% growth in CSX. Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volumes were up 12.8% year-over-year, but on a smaller base. (KSC moved 11,477 units versus UNP’s 77,457.)  

Shippers

The Future of the TMS

By |July 2nd, 2020|3PLs, Shippers, Special Topic, Technology, Trucking|

Over the past three decades, TMSes have evolved beyond the management of shipments to encompass many more processes and bring shippers, intermediaries, and carriers closer together. TMSes that began their lives as relatively siloed, on-premise platforms requiring large amounts of manual data entry are now connected via API to shipper

How much freight do the top 470 shippers in the U.S. control?

By |April 1st, 2020|Shippers|

In a recent whitepaper (“How much freight do the top 100 shippers in the U.S. Control?”; March 6), we examined how much freight the top 100 shippers account for in the U.S. This whitepaper is a follow-on to that report, and we would suggest reading it first. We then assumed

Special Topic

Please Mr. Postman

By |August 21st, 2020|Featured, Most Popular, News, Shippers, Special Topic|

Two things can be true at the same time: The United States Postal Service is an invaluable public service crucial to the transportation of pharmaceuticals, official documents and much else, and it’s also in an unsustainable position and in need of a turnaround.   Many people are aware of the

Technology

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

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

Trucking

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