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Here’s some key white paper data from FreightWaves in Q1 2023

As the freight world continues to grapple with the effects of a market in decline, businesses are looking for new ways to stay competitive and adapt to changing conditions. In this climate of uncertainty, data-driven insights and reliable research are more valuable than ever.

To that end, FreightWaves has rounded up some of its most insightful first-quarter white papers on a variety of topics, including supply chain management, technology adoption and market forecasting. From examining the latest trends in consumer demand to exploring strategies for managing risk in a volatile market, these reports offer valuable insights and actionable recommendations for businesses of all sizes.

So whether you’re a startup looking to gain a competitive edge or an established enterprise trying to navigate an unpredictable market, you’ll find data here to help you make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve. Read on to discover FreightWaves’ top picks from the past few months.


A majority of freight brokers aren’t certain their tech stack works as well in a down market as it does in a boom cycle.

This is noteworthy. It suggests that many companies could be battling their technology in addition to the wider headwinds that tend to affect pricing and capacity planning in a downturn. In fact, more than one-fifth of those surveyed lack faith in their current solutions, while a third are unsure if their technology will be up to the task.

The uncertainty may be especially acute for newer businesses, which lack experience navigating a less friendly market. For these companies, it’s crucial to identify and adopt solutions that can help weather the storm ahead.


At first glance, this chart’s a bit confusing. Here’s the gist: Shippers saw demand ebb through all of 2022 before eventually seeing a small rebound in Q1 2023. They’re expecting demand to continue to rise through 2023 and peak in Q4. Q1 2024 will then see a small dip compared to Q4 but will remain higher than what shippers are seeing currently.

Shippers endured a lot of tumult during the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumer demand fluctuating as a result of both shutdowns and government relief payment programs. Over the past year, this volatility has calmed, but the survey data shows demand steadily declined through 2022.

It is worth noting that shippers report that current demand is higher than at any point in the previous year, including the fourth quarter, marking a significant increase following a post-peak lull in demand. This surge in demand has seemingly lifted the shippers’ spirits, sparking optimism for the upcoming year.

Economists and business leaders across the country are apprehensive about the possibility of an impending recession, but shippers on the whole appear to remain confident they’re on an upward trajectory. Of course, that could change in an instant if banking troubles prove less isolated than they seem now or if consumer debt payments start dampening demand in a material way.


FreightWaves has had the chance to collaborate with Emerge on several survey-driven white papers in recent years, and in each of the past three, shippers have been asked about the bidding process frequency for the majority of their lanes.

A number of them are now opting for a balanced approach between shorter and longer bid cycles.

According to recent data, contracts lasting from six to nine months have seen an uptick in popularity, with almost 18% of survey participants stating that a majority of their freight prices fall within this time frame. Simultaneously, longer contracts have experienced a resurgence in demand, possibly indicating that some freight owners believe the market is stabilizing. More than 35% of the survey respondents claimed that the majority of their lanes require a bid frequency of more than a year.

Still, mini-bids have solid footing in the market, as almost a quarter of survey participants continue to conduct the majority of their RFPs every three to six months. This approach was shown to be even more critical when assessing the difficulty in covering certain lanes.
If your company is interested in collaborating with FreightWaves on sponsored survey research, send me an email or reach out to [email protected].

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