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Fourth Quarter Freight Trends in North America – 2023

Q4 Freight Market

Welcome to Taylor Logistics’ Q4 2023 Freight Market Insights!

While rates have been holding steady near the lower end of the market, there’s exciting news on the horizon. Our experts anticipate a potential turnaround in the latter half of Q2 2024. This means it’s the perfect time to sit down with your 3PL partner and prepare your supply chain for upcoming rate and capacity changes. 

Some Economic Factors to Take Into Consideration: 

Inflation: During Q3, we saw inflation rates dip, but they’ve rebounded and are currently at 3.7%.

Fuel Prices: In the U.S., average fuel prices have stopped their gradual decline that began at the end of 2022. Diesel prices increased from $3.80 per gallon in July to $4.58 per gallon. These increases in fuel costs are contributing to the overall rise in inflation.

These insights are based on market data from public sources, providing essential information to keep you informed, make strategic decisions to manage risks and ensure the continuity of your supply chain.

Dedicated Fleet Trends 

In recent years, many leading fleet carriers have shared exciting insights. They’ve consistently reported that their fleet’s growth, particularly in active tractors, is increasingly centered around the dedicated segment of their business. What’s so great about this is that it’s not just benefiting them but also you! These carriers focus more on dedicated services, leading to better service predictability and happier drivers. Need a dedicated fleet solution? Talk with our sibling company, Taylor Distributing Co. 

Notable Growth Among Smaller Carriers

Our research shows that smaller carriers have been on the rise. These companies operate fewer than 51 tractors and are making a significant impact on the for-hire capacity in the USA. So, when you choose to work with smaller carriers, you’re contributing to the growth of these vibrant businesses.

Challenges Stemming from Driver Shortages 

We understand that the trucking industry faces unique challenges, like a shortage of drivers and changing employment preferences. The average age of truck drivers is around 55, and with the Baby Boomer generation’s retirement, keeping fleets fully staffed is challenging. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you navigate these challenges as the market evolves to meet your freight volume needs.

Resilience in the Owner-Operator Model

We have good news! The trucking industry in the USA has a robust owner-operator model to serve you. Becoming an owner-operator is easier than ever, and if times get tough, exiting the business is a breeze. Plus, seeing so many people enthusiastic about driving trucks is terrific. More importantly, many drivers want to own and operate their businesses. This trend has gained momentum in recent years, and it’s all about offering you a variety of ways to get your goods moving. Whether you prefer independent operators with their trailers, independent contractors with fleets, or power-only services for your trailers, we’ve got you covered.

Talk with Taylor