Trucking markets are increasingly diverging from seasonal patterns.
First, reports came out that Uber Freight (UF) was being “re-evaluated,” although its demise was not imminent. The more recent news about a potential deal to sell an equity stake in Uber Freight has renewed the industry conversation around Freight’s business model, sustainability and future. In what follows, we
Bit by bit, trucking carriers are finding their way home out of a disastrous April during which volumes and rates fell precipitously and empty miles increased. Volumes have returned and asset utilization has begun to normalize. Revenue per driver per week has started ticking back up but hasn’t yet established
Contracted truckload volumes have recovered, tender rejections are still elevated, and while some rates came in after the holiday, others didn’t. Freight brokers we spoke to were surprised that trucking markets did not meaningfully cool off after July Fourth and are increasingly convinced that freight patterns this year will
The question on our minds now is whether Dallas is the first stage of another March-like surge in refrigerated volumes driven by the coronavirus. In response to a spike in new infections, Texas officials closed bars and limited restaurants, causing outbound and inbound Dallas reefer volumes to turn upward to
The summer rally has already been stronger and longer than in 2018 and 2019.
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
Contracted and spot volumes in all three major equipment types – dry van, reefer and flatbed – are growing; rates are increasing; capacity is tightening. At this point, it doesn’t look like the national trucking market completely rolled over. Although tender rejections are positive year-over-year, indicating that capacity on
126 of 135 freight markets saw tighter trucking capacity than they did last week.
Spot freight is coming back and tightening capacity across the country, even as rates out of Los Angeles fade (typical for this time of year). On a national basis, contracted truckload tenders are being rejected at a rate of 6.4%, just below the crucial 7-10% level that ‘flips’ the market
Capacity ratcheted slightly tighter across a broad swath of the country again this week, but not yet to levels (7-10%) that would trigger widespread inflation in spot market rates. Spot rates for dry vans increased faster than spot rates for refrigerated equipment, which were flattish and may be peaking. Contracted
The transportation industry is bifurcated by opposing views of spot rates’ direction during the second half of 2020. Shippers have started asking carriers for longer contract periods, looking to lock in very low rates. They’re putting pressure on carriers by tendering spot loads at prices well below agreed-upon contract rates.
The current business environment for operators of asset-based trucking carriers is extremely challenging. Apart from safety and insurance, fuel spreads, and used truck prices – the carrier-specific metrics covered in this report – loose capacity, low spot market volumes and low rates are the most important backdrop for carriers, and
Despite noisy holiday volume data, by most measures trucking markets are continuing their recovery. Week-over-week comparisons look dramatic and make that progress look faster than it actually is: remember that rates are relatively low, capacity is relatively loose, and spot volumes—but not contracted volumes—are soft relative to last year. That
Outbound refrigerated freight from California is surging, driving up rates and tender rejections. Reefer capacity tightened in the middle of the country, too, but loosened slightly in Florida. In our discussion of spot rates below, brokers told us that in some important lanes, spot rates are actually higher year-over-year. We
Volumes across the Southeast and Gulf took a breather this week as demand softened, while California and Florida heated up. Produce season is here, and reefer rates out of southern California repeated last week’s performance, jumping another ~9%. It’s vital to remember that going forward, week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons coming
West Coast ports have taken their medicine; now it’s time for the East Coast to suffer. China’s economy is working to make up for lost time (air pollution now exceeds 2019 levels), and West Coast volumes have already started reaping the benefits, gaining momentum out of their March trough. Economic
Now volumes are only down 3.36% year-over-year.
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
If volumes ramp, Q2 could also be challenging for freight brokers.
Keep an eye on markets important to Texas, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Dallas, over the next week.