Information Sources: Morgan Stanley, Georgia Innovation, Cleveland Research
We look at industry trends every month and compare the trends to other periods of time. Our analysis each month can help us to understand what may happen in the future. The following statistics are from recent months.
In March 2015 the freight was very strong; however, rates are going up and drivers are still in short supply. Additionally, trucks are requiring higher rates to compensate for their higher costs of repairs, insurance, equipment costs and tires. With the spring thaw we also saw a higher demand for flatbeds in March 2015.
In recent months, shippers have been working on spreading out demand to help avoid surges. Expectation is that the demand will be much smoother in future months and that the current capacity will satisfy the demand of the shippers. However, capacity is still tight and carriers are picking and choosing where they will go; they are becoming more selective and the focused on short term profit despite a neutral market.
The flatbed supply is better than expected. Weather, as mentioned previously, has been a factor in the increase in demand, but the overall volume still seems to be down. Some indications point to the demand increasing even more as the seasons change.
The TL supply in recent months has varied greatly by region. Rate increases are coming in much higher than what was forecasted. However, these higher rates are being mitigated by lower diesel fuel surcharges. Carriers understand the fuel situation so they are using this period of lower costs as an opportunity to press for higher rates.
After a brief slowdown last month, brokers are once again feeling a tight capacity market. Many believe this tight capacity will continue to worsen as we get closer to the end of Q2. Additionally, the beginning of the spring push is tightening the market even more and driver shortages are one of the reasons why.
There is a belief that there will be a short spike in demand leading into the spring and summer seasons for the building and construction industries due to the inclement weather nationwide in recent months. Supply is expected to be tighter due to the current refinery strike and how that impact the diesel prices.
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