Last week we took an in-depth look at capacity and what a mosaic was saying about how the supply side of truckload was shaping up in 2021 and what implications that had for the duration of the current upcycle.
Our overall conclusion was: “capacity is definitely increasing, but the growth is heavily weighted toward owner-operators and smaller fleets seeking to take advantage of a hot market. With demand so high and larger fleets having trouble adding capacity, it seems the cycle still has plenty of legs and should require a few more quarters of playing catch-up.”
This week, we delved further into the suspected growth on the smaller-fleet side of the market and came away with a few key findings. These include the fact that we believe the outsized relative growth in smaller fleets can be clearly seen, or explained, by used truck prices, spot volumes, spot rates, higher growth in dry van capacity relative to reefer and the underperformance of dry van operating ratios compared to reefer.
Midsize and larger fleets as a whole (those with greater than 20 trucks but excluding the largest enterprise fleets), on the other hand, are actually down in percentage terms from August 2019, which is consistent with some of the public company management commentary we have heard, as well as the double-digit wage inflation being seen for company fleet drivers due to the difficulty in seating trucks. However, it should be noted that massive enterprise fleets (those with 5,000-plus tractors) have grown considerably, meaning there has been barbell growth at both the low and high end of the market.
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.