Blog Author

Donald Broughton

Prior to starting Broughton Capital Mr. Broughton spent nine years as the Chief Market Strategist and Senior Transportation Analyst for Avondale Partners.  Before that, Mr. Broughton spent over twelve years at A.G. Edwards.  At A.G. Edwards, in addition to being the Senior Transportation Analyst, he was the Group Leader of the Industrial Analysts and served on the firm’s Investment Strategy Committee. Prior to going to Wall Street, Mr. Broughton spent eight years in various distribution and operations management roles in the beverage industry, including serving as the Corporate Manager of Distribution for Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up companies and Chief Operating Officer for Bevmark Concepts.

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Freight Forecast: Is the worst yet to come?

It’s natural to prefer predictability over surprise in many parts of your life, but as the axiom says, “change is inevitable.” That is especially true in the factors affecting the transportation industry, whether it’s the daily truckload rate from St. Louis to Chicago or the global supply and demand for oil or the interest rates for U.S. dollar-denominated debt. Last year was a year of extraordinary change. The… Read More

Carriers score record-high profits and record-low bankruptcies in 2018

The annual reports have all rolled in from publicly traded transportation companies, and it's obvious that 2018 was a record-setting year in many ways. Trucking companies of all sizes enjoyed unparalleled financial success in 2018, with the largest increases in total revenues and operating profits. Freight rates rose faster and higher than ever before — or at least since deregulation in the 1980s — as demand grew and ELDs… Read More

Trucking wins business back from railroad

Last year rail intermodel took away loads from over-the-road trucking, but now the pendulum is swinging back the other direction. Diesel prices are dropping, which makes dry van transportation more attractive and reduces the cost advantage of rail intermodal for domestic freight. Most of the industry is well aware of the role of fuel in routing decisions, but there are some new variables to consider when considering a tradeoff between… Read More

Today's market conditions are not "unprecedented"

Investment analysts debate on TV about the timing of the next recession. The Dow is on a roller coaster ride, and the pundits keep using the word "unprecedented" to describe each day's results. Yes, it's a volatile market. But unprecedented? Not so much. Get weekly updates on national freight trends. Sign up for the DAT Trendlines… Read More

Freight economy continues to grow, despite market volatility

Recent weeks have seen a high level of volatility and a sense of growing uncertainty in both the U.S. and global financial markets. Despite all the hand-wringing on Wall Street, however, the transportation economy continues to signal economic expansion. The hard data of physical goods flow confirms that people are still making things, shipping things, and buying/consuming things. Perhaps this activity is not achieving the scorching pace… Read More

DAT Freight Barometers: Contract rates will rise more slowly in 2019

Capacity is becoming more available, as small fleets have mostly adjusted to electronic logging device (ELD) and strict enforcement of the Hours of Service rules. Driver pay has risen steadily in the past year, so large fleets are able to attract drivers and keep more trucks on the road, effectively increasing capacity. Driver turnover remains high, so retention continues to be a pressing issue, especially for large fleets. At the… Read More

DAT Freight Barometers: Expect contract rates to rise

In all three modes, the DAT® Trucking Freight Barometers are continuing to demonstrate three basic trends: Demand that exceeds capacity by a wide enough margin to drive spot and contract prices higher Seasonally weaker demand, as is normal during July and August. There is less freight to be moved. Have no fear. Demand for trucking will pick up again in September and continue to be… Read More

Expect truckload market volatility to continue through the fall

To say that the first half of 2018 was "a period of both extreme volatility and unprecedented imbalance between capacity and demand for trucking services in North America" at first sounds like hyperbole. But if you ask anyone who lived through it, they'll probably tell you it's an understatement. That raises two basic questions: What created the environment of extreme volatility and unprecedented imbalance? And if the first six months… Read More

Demand still exceeds capacity for all trailer types: DAT Barometers

After repeated periods of record growth from January through June, the weekly DAT Dry Van and Reefer Barometers have pulled back slightly, and appear to be entering a more stabilizing trend. Meanwhile the weekly DAT Flatbed Barometer has begun to pull back slightly in the past two weeks, after setting one new record high after another through the month of June.… Read More

Pressure Rises on Truck Load Freight in May: DAT Freight Barometers

Demand continues to escalate for trucks equipped with dry van trailers, and capacity is still constrained, as we head into a seasonal peak in June. Looking back a few months, we see that these trends began to accelerate in January. After facing severe pressure from the broad adoption of ELDs — which constrained capacity, created a large imbalance in the marketplace, and drove our DAT Dry Van Barometer to record highs — it appears… Read More

About DAT

DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 256 million freight matches and a database of 65 billion of market transactions.

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The company was established in 1978 as the Dial-A-Truck (DAT) load finder service at Jubitz® truck stop in Portland, OR.

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