Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Oct 19 – Oct 25

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • New jobless claims fell close to their lowest level last week since the pandemic began. First time flings in the week ended Oct. 17 totaled 787,000, above pre-pandemic norms but below the almost 7 million claims during a week in March when the virus prompted widespread closures.
  • White House officials and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are closing in on a nearly $2 trillion dollar deal to provide another round of stimulus checks, reinstate extra weekly unemployment benefits and extend aid for small businesses, airlines, and state and local governments. This all comes as COVID-19 cases rise to their highest levels since the middle of summer and cooler weather will hamper the ability for outdoor activities. However, if the White House and House Speaker Pelosi reach an agreement, a vote would most likely have to wait until after the election
  • Union Pacific doubled it’s surcharge on small shippers sending excess contract cargo out of the Seattle market from $500 to $1000 per container starting Oct. 25th. The upcharge comes three months after it began charging fees in the LA and Stockton-Oakland markets, but the surcharge has done much to lower demand as UP’s 3rd quarter volumes jumped 24% from Q2, the largest quarter over quarter increase in the company’s history
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Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Oct 12 – Oct 18

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

We are finally starting to see some semblance of stabilization in the market. National Tender rejections continued to drop last week to the mid 25% and VOTRI decreased a smidge while ROTRI held steady at the 43%.

That being said, don’t be fooled by the term stable. Volumes remain strong with seven straight weeks above 15k and 52% above 2019, but even volumes have started to stabilize and we expect them to continue through November.

Hurricane Delta seemed to put most of its hitting power into LA, but not much elsewhere. Lake Charles and New Orleans were a challenge to move to or through due to flooding and road closures.

What To Expect This Week

The gap between average contract rates and spot rates continues to grow. Currently, average contract rates sit at $2.27 while spot sits at $2.44/mi. This is causing more and more carriers to give back their contracts and renegotiate their lanes as we head into the final months of the year.

SoCal, E PA, NJ maritime shipments continue to be strong. These markets make up 14% of the domestic freight market (S Cal 8% and Newark/E PA 6%). As long as these markets are hot, expect capacity to be limited and rates to be high

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Loadsmart First Look Monthly Lowdown with Jim Nicholson and Brent Hutto (Truckstop.com)

Welcome to September’s Monthly Episode of Loadsmart First Look. This is a monthly series that dives into the domestic freight market, the economy as a backdrop to the trucking industry, and the latest developments and technologies that are changing the supply chain.

This month, as freight demand and volumes exceed the 40-year record highs we saw in 2017 and 2018, our VP of Operations, Jim Nicholson, brought in a little help from Brent Hutto, Chief Relationship Officer @ Truckstop.com to discuss the boom bust and boom again market.

Jim: It’s been a wild year with the pandemic and the shift in consumer behavior that’s thrown freight markets out of whack. I’m curious to hear what you guys are seeing at Truckstop.

Brent: I’ve been alive for 53 years and you see a lot of ups and downs and the old saying is “may you live in interesting times” and certainly we are living in interesting times. Who would have thought that we would have seen something more different or better than 2017/2018 that was a 40 year high in an industry. That was remarkable – people set their careers and retirements on how well they did in 2017/2018 and who would have thought that something would exceed that and we are at that point and have been for the last 7 or 8 weeks above 2017/ 2018 40 year historical highs, which is remarkable considering where we were in March and where the marketplace has come from. 

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On the Road with Loadsmart Ep 5: Lightning Transport

We’re in the business of connecting the logistics industry, but that doesn’t stop at connecting shipments with carriers. This is our second episode of On the Road with Loadsmart, a platform to connect the industry to the stories that matter, inspire, and are essential for giving credit to the unsung heroes of the road we have the privilege to work with every day.

In this episode Aaron from Loadsmart sits down with Matt Deaton from Lightning Transportation to discuss how they’re dealing with growing a driver pool of 375+ drivers to keep up with the recent shifts in demand and volume.

Aaron: To dive right in, do you want to tell us a little bit about Lightning Trans?

Matt: We are a drayage service provider all over the East Coast. I work with our operations teams, sales, business development, working directly with our customers. We’ve been in business since about 1987. We started with one terminal in Baltimore and we’re up to about eight terminals now.
All the major ports and rails and actually we were looking to expand this year.

Right now we’re up to about 375 and counting with the shift in volumes recently coming out of COVID-19 we’ve got a nice, strong pipeline of drivers that we’re trying to rapidly increase that count as we speak to meet the demand and the recent shifts in volumes.

Aaron: Do you want to tell us a little bit about what your main challenges were at the beginning of the year and when the East Coast shut down and a lot of the ports did what those goals and challenges transitioned to?

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Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Oct 5 – Oct 11

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

840,000 Americans applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a number that is highly relative to pre-pandemic levels and worse than any week of previous recessions. Jobless claims are down from their peak in the spring, but have remained stagnant since the summer months and refuse to drop further.

Lawmakers haven’t made much progress in working out a compromise for a new stimulus deal, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a standalone package for airlines without a larger deal in place. Carriers last week furloughed more than 30,000 workers and anticipate further service cuts if more aid doesn’t come soon.

Reefer rejections continue to climb, just ahead of the protect from freeze season. ROTRI is currently at 44.04 nationally, while some markets are seeing rejection rates in the 60’s and 70’s. With short supply, anticipate rejections to continue to climb in the coming weeks with increased demand and carriers looking to take advantage of the lucrative spot market rates.

As of 8am Friday morning Hurricane Delta (the 25th named storm of 2020 and 9th hurricane) was listed as a high-end Category 3 Hurricane and looking to make landfall over southwestern Louisiana. The hurricane is expected to bring 10-15in of rainfall in parts of the impact zone, with 6 to 12ft storm surges. Significant flash flooding, urban flooding and small stream flooding are expected over the weekend.

What To Expect This Week

FMCSA announced last Friday that they will be holding a session on Oct. 28th to hear petitions on broker transparency. Two of the petitions, from OOIDA and Small Business in Transportation Coalition, seek to strengthen brokers’ reporting requirements, while TIA is looking to eliminate outdated regulations and receive guidance on dispatch services to remove bad actors in the marketplace. We will look for more commentary this week on the announcement.

Both contract and spot rates continue to increase, while shippers are renegotiating their contracts earlier than at previous points. As consumers adjust to the new at-home lifestyle, there is increased consumer spending, which has caused an increase in truckload demand.

Current sentiment is that there will be a double digit rate increased into 2021. With the shift in increased consumer spending and the need to still restock, analysts are expecting import volumes to continue to remain strong well into 20201. As most of the trans-pacific volumes flow through Western US ports anticipate an increase in long haul freight into the market, which will further drive up rates and tighten capacity.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Sep 28 – Oct 4

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds as we head into October aka pumpkin season.

What We Saw Last Week

The EOM and EOQ push continued through the week. Capacity was limited and at a premium.  

We are now on two months of rejections over 25%. If you thought this was just a phase, snap out of it. This is the new normal. National Tender rejections sat sturdy and finished the week at just under 26%.

The story last week was Reefer rejections with a massive 6 point jump in the last two weeks. RFR rejections finished the week at just over 45%. RFRs are in limited supply and heading to the spot market to take advantage of the name your rate market. Expect it to be tight nationwide!

What To Expect This Week

Volume increases and market tightness still influenced by massive amounts of freight entering the market through the ports (Los Angeles, Newark). Expect SoCal and E PA to remain tight.

As we enter october expect late year produce to start ramping up!

We expect TS Linehaul continue at their historic levels currently at $2.93/mi but let’s not be surprised if the jump closer to $3.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Introducing Price Calendar: Quote 2 Weeks In 1 Second, Find the Best Rate

Shippers: ever wonder how much you would save if you shipped one day earlier or one day later? How about one week earlier or one week later?

Today, we’re introducing the Price Calendar tool in our Loadsmart Transit product, which allows you to answer those questions in seconds. When you quote a shipment with us, besides the rate for the date you selected, you’ll automatically see rates for a 12-day range. See how it works 👇

The feature will highlight the date with the best rate, but you can scroll side-to-side by clicking on the arrows to identify cost savings for other dates near your original selection.

Like what you see? Simply click on the pick up date you want and start booking. No additional steps required! And if you used a facility from your address book, you’ll just need to confirm the information saved.

In short, this allows our shipper customers to more easily check rates for different dates, finding the best rate and maximizing cost savings in the blink of an eye.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Sep 21 – Sep 27.

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • Trevor Milton was ousted from Nikola last week, while former GM exec Steve Girsky took the helm as chairman of Nikola. Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor has announced plans to being testing imported heavy-duty fuel cell trucks in California next year
  • California bans the sales of fossil fuel-powered vehicles starting in 2035 and orders medium and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emission by 2045 where possible. 
  • With the rise in e-commerce brought on by the pandemic, retailers and manufactures have been paying 29% more on average in the spot market. With a rise in tender rejections as carriers look to the spot market for lucrative spot loads, Amazon has sought assistance from large trucking fleets, offering prices that are unusually high for them in order to assist with volumes ahead of the holiday rush.  
  • Tropical storm Beta made landfall along the mid Texas coast last week, the 9th tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall this year, tying a new record. The storm brought flash floods across parts of Texas and Louisiana already reeling from Hurricane Laura. The clean up from the storms are expected to top $1.4billion and we are still in the middle of peak season for hurricanes. 

What To Expect This Week

  • The wildfires in the West Coast are still raging, but fire fighters are starting to bring some of the fires under control. The fires have caused a capacity constraint in the Pacific Northwest though. Additionally, we are entering into peak season for the area, while tender rejections in Twin Falls, ID and Salt Lake City, UT are at 71.48% and 38.67% respectively.
  • EOQ and EOM are right around the corner, expected capacity to be limited as shippers look to push product off their docks to close quarterly books.
  • Reefer tender rejections continue to climb and surpass 41% nationally. Anticipate rejection rates to continue to climb as demand will increase with October historically being the start of protect from freeze season.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

[WEBINAR] How to Thrive During the Holiday Capacity Crunch

When one capacity crunch ends, another is on the horizon. With the holidays fast approaching, all shippers must prepare for tight capacity.

Thankfully, it’s never been easier to move with the market instead of against it. As 2020 has shown, preparing to do so is imperative.

Shippers are wiring up supply to programmatically meet demand by building on and optimizing the technology they already have, and what they’re finding is that these improvements are critical for thriving in peak seasons.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:
• How to enhance your TMS for increased efficiency
• The most effective ways to avoid common pitfalls during peak seasons
• How to turn the capacity crunch into a cost-saving opportunity

On Demand Webinar:

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap for Sep 14 – Sep 20.

Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, reminds us all to grab our sweaters and put the tea kettle because we’re heading into fall while breaking down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

What We Saw Last Week

Coming out of the holiday week, volumes saw their traditional decrease but jumped back in line to current trends. Rejections consistently decreased through last week. 

Don’t be fooled by these decreases, volume is still at record levels, major markets still sit at 20% rejections and rates are at all time highs

Sally made landfall early in the week as a category 2 Hurricane. Capacity was limited within S LA, AL and GA as capacity was allocated away from the storm. 

What To Expect This Week

The Wildfires in the West Coast are causing some capacity constraints within the PacNW. Expect finding capacity to be a challenge.

With EOQ and EOM around the corner we expect much of the usual. Capacity will be limited and Shippers will push volume to close the quarterly books.

Take last week’s rejection decreases with a grain of salt – As we enter into the back half of September. Retail and seasonal produce will be picking up.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap for Sep 8 – Sep 13.

Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market for less than 60 seconds.

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

What we saw last week

  • We had a slight reprieve early in the week, as volumes dipped about 20% as shippers pulled shipments forward before the long weekend; however, the market jumped back in the latter half of last week as volumes rose to 13740.38 and OTRI came back to 26.56.
  • Friday ended the 72 hour CVSA safety blitz, which focused on driver requirements. Nearly 9,000 inspectors throughout North America conducted inspections and roughly 17 commercial vehicles were inspected every minute. Historically, the blitz had caused capacity to tighten as drivers stayed off the road. In year’s past, 1179 were placed OOS due to HOS violations, which was 37.2% of of the 3,173 drivers placed OOS last year.
  • The National Retail Federation reported container imports in August are expected to be higher than originally forecasted, up 4.6% YoY vs. previous estimates of 3.6%. August’s estimates of 2.06M TEUs, marks the highest level of monthly imports since 2006. This has caused analysts to raise estimates for the remaining peak season months from August to Oct.
  • Truckstop’s Market Demand Index hit an all time high of 102 (implying there are 102 available loads for every truck), which eclipses the 2018 peak of 78. As we move into peak retail season, anticipate that number to continue to rise.

What to look out for this week

  • This week IS National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which took a more prominent role this year, considering the crucial role drivers have played in the pandemic. Hope everyone remembers to honor all drivers.
  • With the OVTI being a seven day moving average, the index is distorted for the week following a national holiday, such as Labor Day. As such, weekly comparisons are near meaningless. Coming of the post holiday and CVSA, anticipate OTVI and OTRI to spike back up back towards pre-Labor day
  • Senate Democrats scuttled a scaled-back GOP coronavirus rescue package of $650 billion last Thursday, likely ending hope for relief before the November elections.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

[WEBINAR] What To Do When Your Routing Guide Falls Apart

With the dramatic market swings of 2020, it’s no surprise that shippers have recently seen +25% tender rejections from their primary carriers.

Because shippers’ routing guides mostly reflect a market’s past, the static rates within them become less dependable as they age and as the market changes.

The freight market is evolving, and shippers must adapt their routing to be dynamic, adaptable, and prepared to weather any market.

You’ll learn:

• What to do when your routing guide falls apart
• How to prepare for and thrive in any market
• How to automate greater efficiency and less expense in freight moves

On Demand Webinar:

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap for Sep 1 – Sep 6.

Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordamn Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market for less than 60 seconds.

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

What we saw last week

  • Really? Much of the same – Tender Volumes continue to increase and reaching 56% greater levels than last year.
  • Rejections are at 26% lead the way with RFR rejections sitting just under 39%
  • RFR freight is tight across the nation 
  • Tropical storm Laura had less of an impact to the freight market as expect. Although S LA did take on major damage with other markets taking on flooding and road closures.

What to look out for this week

  • Labor Day week is here. Expect a whole weeks worth of freight to ship in four days along with this years DOT Road check week. We call this a Double whammy! Expect capacity to tighten and rates to increase.
  • The major markets will be tight especially southern call, ATL, eastern PA and Houston.
  • Don’t take your eye off the weather forecast caused Hurricane season continues through November. Retail season soon follow  so don’t expect capacity to loosen anytime soon!

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap for Aug 24 – Aug 30.

Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market for less than 60 seconds.

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

What we saw last week

Hurricane Laura made landfall last week over parts of eastern Texas and Louisiana. The storm was a category 4, but was downgraded to Category 1 when it made landfall. The storm brought high winds and heavy rains, which headed through much of the Mississippi Valley over the weekend. The storms forced shutdowns in many of the Gulf Coast ports, which extended into Monday, and caused disruptions in the oil and natural gas refining systems, which could reverberate through the coming weeks and affect the industrial sector.

The SoCal headhual index dropped last week by 61% as outbound volumes dropped over a couple of days; however, ocean volumes are still up year over year, which so capacity will likely remain tight for the foreseeable future.

Import volumes last week rose almost 50% higher than 2019 levels into the ports of LA and Long Beach, which has pushed OTR tender volumes out of LA up 73% year over year. Capacity will remain tight however, even if we are past our peak, especially as we head into peak retail season. 

What to look out for this week

Union Pacific announced a $500 surcharge on all excess contract cargo in Seattle starting Sept. 6th in an effort to shift as much available 53 foot intermodal equipment into the Southern California markets. 

We will continue to be on the lookout for the effects of Hurricane Laura, which could take months of clean-up and rebuilding, but also it’s effects inland, as there is potential for severe winds, tornadoes, and flash flooding inland. 

Looking into the week, expect capacity to tighten over the week due to inclement weather, the end of month push, and the upcoming Labor Day weekend, which typically tightens capacity. Furthermore, brokers, carriers and shippers, should begin setting expectations for the upcoming CVSA Internal Roadcheck, which will start Sept. 9 thru the 11. We will dive deeper into this next week on our market update.

Stay Up to Date

With all the latest weekly and monthly market insights on our Youtube page. Questions about anything you saw? Email sales@loadsmart.com and let’s talk about how we can help you take advantage of real-time market conditions.

Loadsmart First Look Monthly Market Recap: August

Welcome to August’s Episode of Loadsmart First Look. This is a monthly series that dives into the domestic freight market, the economy as a backdrop to the trucking industry, and the latest developments and technologies that are changing the supply chain.

This month, with an increasingly confounding market, our VP of Operations, Jim Nicholson, brought in a little help from Supply Chain Expert Mark Montague:

What’s going on in the market?

Jim: It’s been an absolutely fascinating year to study the freight markets. I’m curious to see what you’re seeing and trends and data points you’re looking at.

Mark: When you think about supply chain disruption or changes, 2017 comes to mind, which culminated in the ELD mandate and then elevated rates throughout 2018. There was quite a run up rate in [2018]. Recently, I pulled the data to look and see – how does this compare and this is actually a much sharper change in the freight marketplace. For one thing, we started from the lowest spot that I’ve seen in really the last century as far as freight rates and now we’ve climbed to some rates that are in some cases comparable to those 2018 rate levels.

Jim: This is a little but different, right? With the COVID pandemic there’s quite a bit more uncertainty and more volatility of the ups and downs. What are some changes you think might be contributing to what we saw in 2017 vs. what we see right now?

Mark: We had the economy totally shut down for about six week – so for most of April. March ended up strong because of all the rush to go to the grocery stores and get supplies even as food service was shutting down. And you had other industries, auto makers, a lot manufacturers shut down for the month of April and really for the first part of May.

And that was really the nadir, the lowest point was mid to late May when a lot of stuff had ground to a halt and we started to see some freight start to come back. Produce season kicked in in May so for refrigerated freight April was really the low point. 

But flatbed and van really hit their lowest rates in the month of May. I actually captured a RateView file front that month, RateView being the DAT product that tracks freight rates, and I took that 30 day sample versus a 30 day sample from around today, it was an amazing result: rates are up 47% for the linehaul portion of the van haul rate in really a 2.5 month time frame. One of the things I also looked at – well what happened with volumes? Well volumes are 15.5%, so it’s a real increase.

As far as what’s driving it, that’s been a big question on a lot of analyst minds. I get to talk to some analysts on a fairly regular basis and it partly is the spot market benefits whenever there’s disruption. That probably gets into another question that you have.

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