The SPAC boom

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

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

Multimodal COVID analysis

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

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

ECHO earnings: looking for spot volumes

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

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

3PL Q2 Preview

April market conditions that were favorable to freight brokerages — loosening truck capacity and declining spot rates — reversed themselves in May, and in June, gross margins progressively narrowed on higher volumes and lower revenues.   Contrary to the guidance offered by 3PL management teams on Q1 earnings calls, we

By |June 25th, 2020|3PLs, Financials, Special Topic|

Transportation Liquidity and Credit Analysis in a COVID19 Driven Recession

When the financial markets come under stress and the U.S. enters a recession, creditanalysis always comes back to the forefront and is the most important considerationof investors. This is where we find ourselves now in the aftermath of COVID-19becoming a global pandemic that has effectively shut down much of the

By |May 6th, 2020|3PLs, Financials, Intermodal, Rail, Special Topic, Trucking|

Freight Broker Earnings Update: Fourth Quarter 2019

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

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

The true cost of detention time

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.

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

Trucking stocks trade on spot

Publicly traded truckload stocks trade on spot market prices just like oil stocks trade on spot West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices. This may seem illogical given “paper” rates represent 80% of an average carrier’s revenue base. For the larger fleets of publicly traded carriers, this figure can average as high

By |September 25th, 2019|Financials, Trucking|

Freight brokers: Volumes up, margins down

In this Q3 broker outlook, the Freight Intel Group surveys hundreds of brokers throughout the country to gauge sentiment about volumes, capacity and margins over the final three months of the year. Also, we establish contract rates as paper rates because of their resemblance to rate agreements that can be

By |September 11th, 2019|3PLs, Financials|

First half 2019 logistics M&A and venture capacity activity

The first half of 2019 was another boom time for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and venture capital deals. In the first six months of the year, 141 M&A deals covering trucking, third-party logistics providers (3PLs)/freight brokerages and freight technology were closed, surpassing the 110 M&A deals that were closed for

By |September 11th, 2019|Financials|