E-commerce sales continue to break records despite weak in-store foot traffic, which may affect freight flows in retail supply chains and create challenges for private fleet asset utilization.
Tender rejections are stable at just under 28%, national average dry van truckload spot rates hit $3/mile and truckload volumes should stay hot past Christmas, given the strength we’ve seen upstream in ocean and intermodal volumes. Trucking markets may get another round of rate inflation this month, especially on lanes going into unattractive destination markets, but we see any further price action as likely to be incremental. Trucking carriers are already in a position to exert pricing power and leverage over shippers and brokers — what we see going forward is more of the same but nothing transformative.
High COVID-19 infection rates in the United States imply that distortions to consumer patterns will continue — goods spending will be elevated and services spending depressed. The accelerated rollout of multiple vaccines may normalize those patterns sooner than later, but we expect that effect to begin taking hold in Q2. That implies sustained, monthslong shifts in retail supply chains that de-emphasize truckload moves from DCs to brick-and-mortar locations and place a new importance on facility efficiency and throughput at distribution and fulfillment centers, wherever those may be located in the supply chain.
You have selected content that's only available to members of FreightWaves Passport. As a member, you gain immediate access to the most in-depth and informative freight research available. It's your gateway to continuing education.
Members also get:
- Access to exclusive community dedicated to discussing the most important challenges facing freight.
- Monthly and Quarterly Freight Market reports keeping you informed of industry trends.
- Much, much more!
Click below to learn more and sign up today!
Existing Passport subscribers may log in using the form below.