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Are you too old to start trucking?

Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Newsletter. In this issue, does age matter in trucking; trucking and ocean markets; aid for Turkey and more.

Freight rejections hit non-COVID SONAR series low


We’ll take anything — Long gone are the robust days of 25% outbound tender rejects (OTRI). Now carriers are taking any and all contracted freight that’s coming their way as OTRI has fallen back to earth like a Chinese spy balloon. FreightWaves reports, “The one-two punch of OTRI falling to new floors and the deterioration of spot rates is…contract rates are no better.”

“Tender rejections, a way to measure available trucking capacity, have reached a non-COVID low, as trucking companies struggle to keep their trucks loaded. This is deflationary for freight rates.” – FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller on Twitter

Rate Spotting —With dry van spot rates in the toilet, there’s very little reason for carriers to reject contracted loads if they want to keep the wheels turning. As the winter doldrums set in, freight volumes are stricken by a bad case of seasonal affect disorder and nowhere is that more apparent than in the spot market. 

FreightWaves reports, “This week, the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI), which measures national freight demand by shippers’ request for capacity, fell 2.1% on a week-over-week (w/w) basis.” Without more volume, capacity will stay loose, buckle down.

Ocean shipping contracts sink

Greg Miller

Maersk hit in the purse – Meanwhile, on the water ocean rates have drained out of the tub. All of the incredible pricing gains that the steamship lines were able to capture during the pandemic have plummeted back to the basement. Just as contract season is picking up, Greg Miller reports, “[Maersk] earnings are expected to plunge by up to 78% in 2023.”

“Unfortunately, the Indexes are not accurate. The spot rate hovered for almost 6 weeks at $1,250 per 40′ to the USWC. On Feb 3rd it dropped to $1,150. Too many indexes with faulty information.” – Jon Monroe, founder of Jon Monroe Consulting on LinkedIn.

Death of alliances? – Have steamship lines come to the conclusion that vessel sharing agreements and alliances are unsustainable? Commenting on the 2M Alliance divorce Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc says, “The situation with 2M is quite unique, because it’s an alliance of the two largest carriers and both of us had reached a size where we could actually stand alone if we wanted to. I don’t think any of the other carriers today would be able to have the comprehensiveness of coverage that is required to be competitive or the cost base to stand alone.”

How do you think the 2M breakup will impact alliances and rates? Email me your opinion.

Rate the strap work: Carpool lane edition

How old is too old to start trucking?

Can you have too many miles on the odometer? – A redditor on r/truckers asks, “Hey folks, I was laid off from my job after 25 years. It was an ok job with good benefits and I liked it…I’m 56. Am I too old?”

Here’s what the community had to say:

DecadentEx – I’m about to turn 54. I do push-ups, and jump rope in the truck stop parking lots. There’s no stopping me, so join in.

PrivatePilot9 – There’s lots of people who pick it up as a second career. Just make sure you really like driving, understand that it’s the polar opposite of a 9-5 job (10-14 hour days are the norm) and really needs to be treated as a lifestyle, not a job.

ItsTheLeftLane – Deceased. 

Rooster – As long as you can pass the CDL physicals and have the confidence that you can perform the physical requirements of the type of hauling you want to get involved with, you can be a trucker.

SuperTrucker – Never too old, I had lots of older people in my class in trucking school.

Ingrid Brown – It’s true when they say age is just a number, even for a truck driver. I believe anybody can start driving at any age, especially empty nesters and retirees. 

TruckPartsInventory – So long as you can do the job safely, you’re never too old!

Maleficent_Lack1710 – I was born in ‘78, I started a year ago. I feel like it’s the best decision I’ve made so far, besides my wife. It’s never too late bro.

Start your next life on the road – Take it from the drivers, age is just a number and if you’re physically and mentally up to the task, that’s your barrier to entry. Trucking is a big wide world too, so if over-the-road long haul doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, there’s never been more local jobs. Want to get started? Here’s info to get you started. 

Aid for Turkey

Over 19,300 dead, time to step up – USAToday reports, “The confirmed death toll continued to rise, reaching more than 19,300 Thursday, surpassing the toll from Japan’s Fukushima disaster in March 2011. That magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,400 people.” 

The logistics community has always been incredible about rising to the occasion and this horrible tragedy is no different. General Brokerage Services is organizing a supply lift to the region. Here are the details if you’d like to help:

Here’s what they’re looking for


Winter Coats, Gloves, Headgear

Sleeping Bags


Baby Formula


Feminine Hygiene Products


Hand Warmers

Thermos Bottles

Deadline for drop off delivery is Feb. 15

All Supplies are being gathered at GBS warehouse to be prepared and shipped

General Brokerage Services

285 Eldridge Road

Fairfield, NJ, 07004

Shipments to Turkey arranged by PortX Via Turkish Airlines – contact Yusuf Kansay for full details.

If you’re also arranging aid, email me and let me know. 

WTT Friday

Dooner / Canva

Taking stone logistics for granite, shipping to HI/AK and outsourcing in ‘23  — On Friday’s episode of WHAT THE TRUCK?!? I’m talking to StoneLoads Patrick Wells about how the logistics of moving stones, building a marketplace for them, and why that side of the business rocks.

How do the logistics work behind shipping goods to Hawaii and Alaska? SeaWide Express’ Monica Thornton talks about connecting logistics to the lower 48 from HI/AK. 

3PLs are taking a hit in this economy and looking to cut costs. Valoroo’s Nick Schrock talks about how his company is using outsourcing to fill in the gaps on repetitive tasks. 

Plus, news, weirdness and more. 

Catch new shows live at noon ET Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWavesTV, FreightWaves LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or on demand by looking up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player. Now on demand

What’s in the box, building a blockbuster brokerage and trucker trivia

Warehousing, drayage and how to sell your trucking company to Red Bull

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