Trucking Industry Trends

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Plastics and Cotton

Some refineries are still closed, as are many factories that make basic petrochemicals, including ethylene and propylene, that are essential to manufacturing plastic resins. Those plastics are also manufactured in Houston and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast. Much of this material is typically transported by rail, and railroad service has not yet been fully restored. So even when manufacturing is back up and running, the storage tanks are full… Read More

Expect Hurricane Harvey to Have a Long-Term Impact on Trucking

Hurricane Harvey is going to have a big impact on freight transportation and logistics in the weeks and months to come. The record rainfall finally stopped after four days and 50-plus inches, but Southeast Texas and Western Louisiana are still battling dangerous floods and many roads can be navigated more easily by motorboat than by anything that runs on wheels.… Read More

Hurricane Winds and Flooding Expected in Houston

Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit South Texas, including Houston and the Gulf Coast, tonight or tomorrow morning, and it may remain in place for days. Harvey will be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in almost 12 years. This could be one of the worst weather-related disasters in recent history. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and other parts of the region in 2005, came ashore as a Category 3, but Harvey… Read More

Hurricane Winds and Flooding Expected in Houston

Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit South Texas and the Gulf Coast tonight or tomorrow morning, and it may remain in place for days. If it remains a Category 4, Harvey will be the first such storm to make landfall in the U.S. 13 years, and the first to hit Texas since 1961. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and other parts of the region in 2005, came ashore as a Category 3.Harvey's winds may exceed 100 miles per hour, and… Read More

ELD Impact Could Be Greatest on 450- to 600-Mile Lanes

Assuming that the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate takes effect on December 18, which seems highly likely, all fleets will be forced to install an ELD on every truck by that date.Many industry experts predict that electronic logging devices (ELDs) will have a 3% to 5% impact on carrier productivity overall, but not all hauls and carriers will be affected equally. The impact will be felt disproportionately on longer, one-day… Read More

DAT Barometers Help Predict Rate Trends

Broughton Capital, LLC, an independent financial research firm, has developed a set of tools for the truckload industry called "DAT Freight Barometers." These barometers were developed using proprietary econometric algorithms and are based on data from DAT's truckload freight marketplace and the… Read More

4 Markets Driving Skyrocketing Flatbed Demand

If you read our weekly e-newsletter Trendlines, or follow daily load-to-truck ratios in DAT RateView, you may have noticed this: flatbed demand is skyrocketing.While the average load-to-truck ratio in April was 3.5 for vans and 6.6 for reefers, the flatbed load-to-truck ratio was 43.7 loads… Read More

How Natural Gas and Plastics Impact the Truckload Spot Market

New investments in natural gas and petrochemical production over the past six years have had a noticeable impact on the trucking spot market. Those effects have been more dramatic since August 2016, with the new construction adding to the stronger-than-usual start to the year for flatbed freight. The impact on the Gulf Coast especially stands out when checking rates and demand in DAT… Read More

Freight Volumes Are Up, So What About Profits?

I was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about the market conditions for trucking in Q1. There’s more cargo moving through the country right now, but pricing hasn’t moved up at the same pace. The paper noted the trend, citing data from DAT and interviews with… Read More

How Does Atlanta's I-85 Bridge Collapse Affect Truckloads?

The collapse of a section of a bridge section on I-85 just north of Atlanta was shocking for two reasons: No injuries were reported, and its impact on spot market truckload freight has been and probably will be muted. Here's why:The "Downtown Connector" (I-75 and I-85) in Atlanta. Photo by By… Read More