Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Newsletter. In this issue, have truckload markets found the floor; taking a semi to prom; 420 for truck; and more.
Dead cat bounce?
The bottom? — Just as everyone is shredding those second-half recovery narratives, we’re finally starting to see some upward projections in the truckload spot market. FreightWaves’ Tanner DeHart tweeted, “For the 1st time in a long time, SONAR’s 28-Day Forecast has surpassed the current day’s average. Today’s average is $2.23 a mile, with a forecasted bottom of $2.14 on April 26th and then increase to $2.28 by May 17th.”
But, your princess may be in another castle, Mario. Let’s take a look at the headwinds.
“Truckload spot rates drop to new cycle lows — $1.57/mile, down $.52/mile (or -25% since the start of the year). We are at a point where every penny matters — most miles carriers run in the spot market are for a loss.” — FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller
New cycle-low blues — Carriers and owner-operators will take any sliver of hope they can find right now as the market hit new cycle lows. In the chart above you can see how national spot rates (excluding fuel) have performed since 2019. We’re now headed toward the trough of 2020.
RFPs — The big dogs may see blood in the water as giants like Home Depot are rolling out their RFPs early. Not only will they and shippers like them try to move down contract rates, but that may put even more downward pressure on spot rates. As of today, outbound tender rejects are at 2.82%, which is right around where they were during that abysmal April of 2020.
Trucking delivers at the prom
Ride in style — You’re looking at your prom king and queen right there, folks. As prom season is heating up, more and more students have been opting for Petes over limos. And it’s not just Devon Schott’s boy. TurkeyTye tweeted, “My daughter’s boyfriend is driving a Pete to prom too. I offered the Mustang but he said no thanks. Can’t wait to see this.”
I’m glad this didn’t turn out like the story last year about Lance Reed who was denied the opportunity to bring his rig to Lincoln High School’s prom in Kentucky.
You’ve got the look
SuperTrucker agrees — Do CDL drivers have a “certain look to them?” That’s what Toni Childs suggested. Our own Justin Martin looks like he just walked off the set of a beard shampoo commercial but does he speak for everyone? Here are some of the best roasts:
420 truck trade ends in arrest
Gelato for Ram — Two men in West Virginia are indica a lot of trouble after the cops nipped their marijuana-for-truck barter in the bud. Authorities allege that Tommy Coupal, 20, and Landon Covalt, 20, of Buckhannon, drove to a Lowe’s to trade 10 pounds of Gelato strain weed for a 2006 Dodge Ram. Their plan went up in smoke when it turned out the owner of the Ram was an officer in disguise. Buzzkill.
Boxes at the Fish Pier — Summer in Boston isn’t just about Red Sox games; now you can go and enjoy a summer concert series at the Port of Boston. According to the port, next month, Boxes at the Fish Pier will launch on the South Boston waterfront and kick off a summer filled with special events, programming and performances. This historic Boston landmark is the perfect backdrop for a great day (or night!) spent on the water.
MassPort says, “The main container features a mural by Artists for Humanity and includes interior panels about the Fish Pier and Boston’s seafood industry.”
Headed to the Hub? Learn more here.
Meanwhile, in Oakland
Shade — Bad week in Oakland. Not only did the A’s buy land in Las Vegas but Pacific Drayage Services’ Jim Gillis threw some shade at the Port of Oakland for long terminal lines. Matt Schrap, CEO at Harbor Truck Association, lamented how the Howard Terminal situation shook out in the Bay Area.
Weaponizing supply chains, 5th gen autonomous trucks and scope 3 reports — On Friday’s episode of WHAT THE TRUCK?!?, I’m talking to Kodiak Robotics’ James Reed about the company’s fifth-generation autonomous truck.
AIT Worldwide Logistics’ Ray Fennelly joins us just in time for Earth Day to share his company’s latest sustainability report. We’ll learn what scope 3 means and why it’s a big deal for the transportation industry.
Fortis Analysis’ Ross Kennedy talks about weaponizing supply chains; a potential ag industry crisis; inland waterways; and the biggest problems shippers face today.
Plus, news, weirdness and more.
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Now on demand
Sleeping on the tracks, truck parking and the $200K dime heist
Moving $30 million worth of gloves
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