Over the past year, we’ve been keeping you up-to-date on the changes the trucking industry is experiencing. A few months ago, we followed up on reports of labor shortages and thought it would be a good time to check in on how things have changed since then.
Could a return to stability be coming?
So far in 2019, truckload rates have been significantly lower than they were in 2018, due in part to extreme weather in the Midwest this spring and increased tariffs on Chinese imports. However, an article from DAT suggests that a rebound could be just around the corner, due in part to the movement of goods from the West Coast into the eastern supply chain.
The article explains, “When West Coast goods move in higher quantities by truck, it tightens the truck supply because the cycle time for a truck to complete a round trip is higher. In effect, it removes capacity that would otherwise compete on movements in the eastern half of the country.”
Other experts tend to agree. An article from Supply Chain Drive states, “The capacity crunch that dominated the trucking market in 2018 is nearing its end as shippers and carriers alike are adjusting their operations to experience a more stable 2019.”
The article then goes on to show that the trucking market tends to be cyclical and that after an unpredictable 2018, the industry is expected to return to normal this year, saying, “In 2014, the market set expectations for ‘normal’ transportation trends with a dip in Q1 followed by a strong Q2. Projections show that we are most likely on our way back to this pattern and returning to a normalized freight cycle in 2019.”
We’ll continue to report on trucking industry updates as they become available.