A market shift has kept volumes strong in the contract segment even as the spot market continues to level off, according to the latest data from the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).
“We like what the data is showing us—while the growth rate has moderated, our members continue to see volume gains, even as spot market volumes have settled,” says TIA president and CEO Anne Reinke. “This clearly shows the vital role brokers play as ongoing partners for freight transportation shippers.”
- Second-quarter growth in payroll employment among for-hire trucking was the strongest of any quarter on record, while small carriers operating mostly in spot markets failed in large numbers due to soaring diesel prices and a softening of spot rates.
- A decline in consumer spending could lead to an inventory correction in future quarters.
- The automotive sector—a huge consumer of freight transportation—will be a wild card as inventories remain severely depleted. Freight volumes linked to automotive could be robust if there’s improvement in the availability of semiconductor chips, even if vehicle purchases do not rise in lockstep with production.
- Potential changes to the market status quo and to the report’s forecast for volume and rates mostly favor weaker, not stronger, metrics. One exception could be diesel prices, which have been falling sharply since the end of Q2.