We have discussions with and listen to presentations from companies that make a living doing research. These folks gather this intelligence from public and private companies, compile it all, and display market predictions.
We have had a long relationship with Cleveland Research and have been speaking with them for close to 10 years.
During a recent conversation, I asked if the current dip during June and August was a sign the market would level off. The researcher, who speaks with shippers, procurement managers, and carriers said that this is just the normal lull for the first month of a quarter and July. He said everyone he speaks with thinks the market will remain very tight into and through 2020.
Here are few items Cleveland Research thinks are imporation to consider for the rest of the year:
- ATA truck tonnage index increased 7.8% year over year in May, the 13th consectuive month of year over year growth.
- During June, van spot rates were up 24% year over year and 8% month over month.
- During June flatbed spot rates were up 27% year over year and 4% month over month
- During June refrigerated TL rates were up 18% year over year and 21% month over month
From Cleveland Research:
Our work indicates abundant demand for TL brokerage services with demand at its strongest point since 2011 as capacity imbalances require shippers to seek as many capacity sources as possible. As contracts are re-negotiated, spot market demand could wane slightly as route guide compliance improves from peak market dislocation in 4Q/1Q. Industry participants expect 2018 core demand to grow Y/Y due to improving economic growth (better inventory positions, improving industrial markets)
Capacity Trends: Spot market capacity has shrunk 40%+ from one year ago as carriers have dedicated more capacity to contract/dedicated commitments due to weak demand during 2015/2016, creating a very “thin” market, where any incremental demand on the spot market has a more significant impact on pricing.