Today’s Trends in Trucking and Supply Chain

May 5, 2022

 

When it comes to global supply chain issues, there is no greater source than FreightWaves, the largest media and market-level data provider in the logistics and supply-chain industry. Tyler Kern welcomed Craig Fuller, CEO & Founder of FreightWaves, to Resources for the Road for a brain-picking session on what’s happening in logistics today, and ‘spoiler alert,’ there’s a lot happening.

To understand the logistics today, Fuller said it’s essential to look at what occurred before the pandemic during what the industry coined as the trucker bloodbath. Due to massive expansion, trucking capacity outweighed demand for a couple of years before 2020, “The market slowed down just enough to cause a situation where trucking spot rates dropped significantly; demand drooped significantly to where the total number of trucks in the market, and companies with marginal balance sheets and unit economics could not survive,” Fuller said.

These factors led to a lot of trucking companies going bankrupt in 2019. Boom and bust cycles occur more often than most people recognize, according to Fuller, and these cycles tend to ebb and flow every three years. Today, trends in trucking show that the market is robust, and many new trucking companies are entering the mix, “Many of those carriers will do quite well, but some of those carriers, particularly those that went beyond a single owner-operator entering the market, but maybe they added 50-100 trucks, are probably at the greatest risk,” Fuller said, “They have gone well above their ability to run a company at scale and run one well.”

Fuller mentioned the trucking market is already beginning to soften, even though the warmer months typically bring more volume. So far, in 2022, that hasn’t been the case, but there will be a lot of watchful eyes on the situation over the next few months.  

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