Truckload Rates May Not Trend Down for Long
Shipping rates are dropping, which is typical for this time of year. Mid August is the time of transition. After Independence Day all the fruit and patriotic merchandise has been delivered and consumed, and the growing season has come to an end in Florida, South Texas, Southern California and market place pressure goes down. Rates began declining for reefers since early July and flatbed rates began receding in the last few weeks.
This pattern is likely to continue for a few more weeks. Until then an increase in rates may come in late August through much of September. Of course, freight availability and rates could remain the same instead.
Job growth has been fairly steady for the past six months, and there has been a strong upward trend in manufacturing. This has become the main support to an improvement in consumer confidence. That is just the kind of news that encourages retailers to expand inventories, anticipating a busy upcoming season. We will start to see the impact on truckload volume within a few weeks.