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 the large asset-based carrier side of the market is tighter, and contracted volumes are very high compared to last year, in most lanes, spot volumes are still negative year-over-year. In other words, despite carriers’ growing willingness to reject freight that doesn’t fit into their networks, which have been newly distorted by COVID-19, shippers have not completely capitulated. They may be tendering loads to carriers further down the routing guide, but we aren’t to the point yet in the cycle where the load boards are getting flooded with freight by brokers desperately looking for a truck.Despite a now-undeniable second wave of infections emerging in the U.S., for now we believe that the economy will stay on an upward trajectory and that, most importantly, freight-intensive sectors of the economy will tend to do well. We’re aware of complicating factors like the mid-July end of increased unemployment benefits, but think that its effect on employment, consumption, and for that matter production, is not obvious.
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