Transfix Take: Weekly Market Update (Mar 27, 2024)

The Baltimore Bridge Collapse and March Projections Review


Welcome to the week of March 27th edition of the Transfix Take! Gear up for the latest updates and trends in the trucking industry. In this issue, we're revving up with industry news, sprinting through regional breakdown highlights, and putting the spotlight on what's on the logistics horizon.

Industry Insights: Unpacking the Road Ahead

In this week's edition of Transfix Take, we bring you the latest updates and insights from the world of freight. Co-hosts Justin Maze and Jenni Ruiz share the following highlights and updates:

The Impact of the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse: The Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore, following a collision with a container ship, has initiated an active search and rescue operation by the U.S. Coast Guard. While trucking volume may not be severely impacted due to alternate routes, immediate disruptions are expected in freight movement. Import and export markets will witness short-term disruptions, with imports being rerouted to other East Coast ports. Notably, Baltimore's hazmat bypass status might necessitate repositioning of hazmat freight, affecting East Coast import markets temporarily. We will continue to keep a close eye on the impacts. 

A Flat Market Snapshot: In the latest data analysis, the national average rate per mile for line haul only has remained flat, standing at $1.66. Maze mentioned this stability during the discussion, indicating a consistent trend in rates despite minor day-to-day fluctuations. Additionally, tender rejections have been hovering around 3.3%, reflecting a relatively stable market sentiment. While there have been slight upward ticks in tender rejections in recent days, the overall trend suggests a market maintaining equilibrium. 

Screenshot 2024-03-26 at 11.15.56 AM
Source: Freightwaves

Screenshot 2024-03-26 at 11.20.20 AM
Source: Transfix Internal Data

Regional Roadmap: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Below is a regional breakdown of the freight industry, uncovering nuances and trends in various regions across the nation.

Map chart -weekly market update24-0327Source: Transfix Internal Data

Midwest: Overall, the Midwest is experiencing a slight slowdown in downward momentum, influenced by end-of-quarter dynamics. However, significant volume markets are still witnessing easing in rates, while low-volume markets show sporadic fluctuations. Markets with rate gains include Bloomington, Des Moines, Ft Wayne, Hutchinson, Lexington, Rapid City, and Taylorville. 

Northeast: Similar to the Midwest, the Northeast is also on a downward trajectory, although the momentum is slowing down. Higher volume outbound markets are leading the trend, but seasonal changes in rates are expected, especially for freight heading to the Southeast. Some of the breakout gain markets include Boston, Elizabeth, and Erie. 

Coastal Region: The coastal region has seen a notable downward momentum recently, reflecting market stubbornness. However, trends are aligning with those of the Northeast, with potential for upward movement in rates as seasonal shifts approach.

West Coast: The West Coast is witnessing substantial gains, attributed to tightened capacity. Southern California and Las Vegas markets are particularly driving this upward pressure, likely to continue as seasonal influences intensify.

South: While the South has seen gradual rate increases of nearly 1.5% over the past 30 days, recent trends indicate a slowing of gains. Although, most markets are picking up, including the big Dallas and Ft. Worth markets. Seasonality, especially in produce transportation, may lead to plateaus in rates, followed by an upward trajectory from mid-April onwards.

Southeast: Florida stands out as the region likely to experience the most significant increases in freight demand, particularly for outbound shipments. Despite varying market conditions, overall momentum in the Southeast is expected to pick up in the coming weeks due to seasonal shifts.

Screenshot 2024-03-26 at 11.20.44 AM

Source: Transfix Internal Data
The Crystal Ball Review for March

Here’s a look at where we netted out for our March predictions:

  • We were short of our prediction of a 3% drop in the national average rate per mile, as rates actually increased due to unexpected tightening and adverse weather conditions in the South region.
  • Tender rejections remained relatively flat, hovering around 3.3%, with minor fluctuations driven by end-of-quarter dynamics, as predicted.
  • Projections for the Midwest, Northeast, and West Coast were largely accurate, with the South region proving to be tighter than anticipated.

Webinar with Paul - 240228-V1-1

If you want to get into the specifics of what the next 6-months will bring, Jenni Ruiz will be hosting a webinar with Transfix’s Chief Economist, Paul Poziiumschi, next Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time to go over all the details you need to know to stay ahead of the curve. Reserve your seat here.

Join us next week for an all-new episode where we'll bring you new projections for the month of April. Until then, drive safely.

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DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Transfix, Inc., or any parent companies or affiliates or the companies with which the participants are affiliated and may have been previously disseminated by them. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are based upon information considered reliable but neither Transfix Inc. nor its affiliates nor the companies with which the participants are affiliated warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon. As such, all views and opinions are subject to change.