Freight Outlook Presents Balancing Act for Shippers, 3PLs, Carriers

Balance has been returning to the freight market, but a recession could be next, according to industry experts.

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Inflation and inventory drawdowns remain the two major challenges to the freight market in 2023, according to a new study from Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

Supply chain executives agree that Q1 of 2023 will be a period of downward rate adjustments for contract and spot market loads.

With capacity expected to loosen in 2023, shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) executives are more selective of who they do business with and are hesitant to choose the lowest cost providers in a down market.


From Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA):

  • The digitization of transportation and logistics is one trend that executives are certain will continue in 2023.
  • Balance has been returning to the freight market, but a recession could be next. In the face of uncertainty, a group of transportation and logistics executives are confident that the strategies powering success in 2022 were paying down debt, diversifying, investing in technology and strengthening relationships; these efforts are expected to deliver paybacks in the New Year.
  • While a recession is possible in 2023, executives expressed confidence in the freight market rebounding sooner rather than later. However, shippers are concerned that fuel prices will offset any savings they might be getting in truckload and LTL rates.
  • Freight volumes are expected to grow.
  • Ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere could destabilize energy prices in 2023, making fuel and fuel surcharges more of a wild card.