Being a freight and analytics organization, we look for clues in data, especially as it relates to truckload capacity. When guaging the direction of commercial freight markets in 2021, there are some indicators that require extra scrutiny this year.
Truckload capacity is tight and expected to get tighter, but judging where truckload demand is headed remains challenging as COVID-19 headwinds ease and increasing tailwinds from the vaccine distribution and economic stimulus converge.
The pandemic has turned many aspects of life upside down, and commercial transportation is no exception. What are the lessons learned from 2020 and will they carry over into 2021? We asked DAT’s team of industry analysts.
We expect 2021 to be very different to 2020. The pandemic resulted in a crash in demand, followed by a capacity crunch, which will make year-over-year comparisons difficult. We don’t have any non-pandemic years in recent enough history to make meaningful comparisons.
The complications COVID-19 created for supply chains could be felt across all aspects of life in 2020, whether you were in the freight industry or shopping for groceries in a store with bare shelves. The public at large became much more aware of the types of problems that trucking and logistics professionals have been solving for decades.
More capacity in the refrigerated sector is one possible outcome of the recent interim final rule published by the FMCSA, which clarifies agricultural commodity and livestock definitions in hours-of-service regulations.
Uncertainty abounds as we begin to look forward to the New Year. As we have seen in 2020, freight patterns and rate levels can shift suddenly, so it pays to have a strong awareness of factors that can affect the marketplace when bidding on future freight.
Our new 3-day average rate is the Goldilocks of rate benchmarks: the perfect blend of time and density. This new metric provides insight on current rate trends more than 50% faster than the 7-day average and has excellent national coverage across the three main equipment types.