The Road Ahead in 2015: Rates May Rise Again

Freight rates should be declining. After all, fuel costs continue to drop, as crude oil prices have fallen from $130 to under $50 per barrel in less than a year. Hours of Service (HOS) rules have been rolled back to 2013, at least until September. The HOS rollback is expected to restore from 5% to 7% of fleet productivity that was lost due to restrictions on the timing of drivers' restarts and breaks. Carriers are finally expanding their fleets, resulting in record sales of Class 8 trucks. Those factors combine to ease truckload capacity, exerting downward pressure on rates.

On the other hand, the driver shortage is not going away, and large fleets

Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.