Trucking Industry Trends

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June freight could set the tone for rest of year

It's no secret that truckload rates aren't where they were a year ago. We don't expect prices to reach the same levels we saw in 2018, but we've been predicting a second quarter rebound for quite some time now -- really since last December, when we also said that we expected a softer than usual first quarter. A number of factors delayed that rebound, but there are signs emerging that it's finally here. The first delay was the scope of… Read More

Technology tackles trucking's parking problem

Few issues get truckers more worked up than the lack of available truck parking. But this year there's actually some good news to report. Eight Midwestern states launched the Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS), a coordinated effort by state DOTs that helps truckers locate safe, legal parking spaces at both public rest stops and private truck stops. Other states have their own… Read More

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

Freight Forecast: More boom less gloom

Are we really on the brink of a freight recession? I've seen countless gloom-and-doom forecasts and analyses from some very smart people, but I'm not buying it. I look at the data, and I see a continuing pattern of growth in freight volumes, both in the spot market and in the U.S. truckload segment overall.… Read More

What are Trucking Freight Futures?

Trucking is undergoing a transformation, as new technologies, e-commerce, ELDs, and economic growth reshape the supply chain landscape and add volatility to the mix. That volatility exposes motor carriers, freight brokerages, 3PLs, and shippers to more risk. That's where the first-ever Trucking Freight Futures exchange comes in. Launched in March, the exchange was created by… Read More

Hauling candy by the truckload is a sweet niche

I got started early in candy logistics. After I got my MBA in transportation, I managed a fleet based in Melrose Park, IL, and negotiated rates with the suppliers at E.J. Brach. I was in my 30s at the time, and I told the guy that I’d been handling Brach's candy for 25 years. That's because my father was a candy jobber – a small, regional distributor who serviced all kinds of accounts. Dad worked with a regional pool… Read More

5 best bets for running reefers

As we begin the second quarter of the year, I've noticed that freight volumes have picked up in the van and flatbed segments, but the reefer segment continues to be a drag on the overall freight picture. Flooding and severe weather have pushed the typical spring upturn further into the future. There are a number of exceptions. If you look at DAT's… Read More

New ELD deadline: Will it trigger a capacity crisis?

Freight markets were upended by the capacity crunch that followed the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in December 2017. The next phase of the mandate begins in December 2019, and it may end up being just as disruptive. The new milestone expands the regulation in two dramatic ways: 1. No more AOBRDs The ELD requirement becomes more stringent in December. Fleets will no longer be allowed to… Read More

Good news for reefers: California has plenty of water

California experienced a 3-year period of exceptional drought in 2014-2016, but this year the state has plenty of water. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is the fifth largest in the past 40 years, and many of the state's reservoirs are at above-average levels. The… Read More

Driver shortage or truck surplus?

You’ve likely heard reports that there’s a shortage of drivers in the trucking industry. There have also been reports that a… Read More