The Weekly Report is back with the latest trucking industry data. Watch the video, listen to the audio version, or read the transcript below.
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Hello everyone, and welcome back. If you were fortunate enough to have Martin Luther King Day off, we hope you had a nice long weekend. For the rest of you, what can we say except…. keep on trucking – get it? I’m Joshua Miller for the Weekly Report where every week we take a look back to help you move forward. Let’s get to it shall we?
This Week in Job Board Searches and Clicks
Truck driver searches were up across the board with increases of 9% WoW, 4% Mom, and 69% YoY. It was a bit more of a mixed bag on the truck driver postings side of things, however. There we saw a decrease of 5% WoW, an increase of 5% MoM, and a drop of 47% YoY.
We again saw driver experience level play a role in the activity. Postings for experience drivers saw increases in both searches and clicks WoW of 6 and 3% respectively. Meanwhile posts for inexperienced or trainee drivers saw a large WoW search increase of 32%, while at the same time seeing a 29% drop in clicks WoW.
This Week in Freight
Following last week’s record high, spot market volume has fallen. Load volume in the truckstop.com system is down 8% WoW. In addition, dry van postings fell by 21% while refrigerated dropped 24% WoW. Flatbed volume, on the other hand, rose slightly by 5% WoW.
The ratio of loads to trucks fell to its lowest level in five weeks as truck postings increased by 10% WoW.
Spot rates fell nearly 8¢ to the lowest level in 6 weeks, but . . . rates are still up 31% YoY.
That Brings Us to Our Story of the Week
As consumer behavior has continued to shift to more e-commerce, it is likely that warehouse capacity will tighten in 2021 compared to previous years. Compounding this issue, it does not seem likely that enough warehouse space is available to store goods close to consumers as everyone is looking for the same warehouse space in more expensive urban areas. This could lead to an increase in the average length of haul.
The trend of converting vacant strip malls to distribution for e-commerce fulfillment centers has emerged as way to try and ease the shipping crunch. While it does appear this has helped, it does not seem like a long-term solution.
The main problem is it requires 53-foot trailers to traverse heavy traffic in tight urban areas, which adds even more time to the supply chain. Relying on the tried-and-true hub-and-spoke design of truckload freight networks – with hubs located in industrial parks near the interstate will be more efficient in the long run. In the meantime, the demand for vehicles better suited to navigate highly trafficked urban areas such as small box trucks and sprinter vans will remain in high demand.
Demand for additional distribution centers and short delivery time for e-commerce items indicate the truckload length of haul could continue to shorten and make hauls more regionalized than ever before.
And that’s our report. We hope this information has been useful to you and we look forward to seeing you back here next week for a brand-new installment. Until then, have a great week everybody.