The OOIDA Foundation’s October market update paints a realistic, if not also disappointing, picture of the market in the coming months. The report indicates ongoing challenges with no signs of an imminent upturn, projecting a continuation of current trends until at least 2024. The persisting negative market outlook is attributed to flat rates, high operating costs, soft volume, and loose capacity.
In the van market, the load-to-truck ratio experienced a 24% month-over-month decline, falling 42% below the five-year trend. Spot rates and contract rates both decreased, contrary to the typical seasonal trend. Although inventory-to-sales ratios dropped, monthly sales increased, offering a positive indicator for future truck demand.
The flatbed market saw lower load posts compared to 2019, with only four of 16 regions witnessing an increase in load-to-truck ratios. The spread between contract and spot rates improved by 10% compared to last year. Construction spending remained high, but flatbed demand declined, likely influenced by inflation. Although housing stats rose in October, they remained down quarter-over-quarter.
In the reefer market, October experienced a notable dip in demand, but produce volumes looked promising for the fall season. The load-to-truck ratio fell in six of 16 regions and was 42% lower than the previous year. The spread between spot and contract rates improved by 12% compared to a year ago. Truck capacity remained flat after three consecutive months of losses.
New truck sales exceeded used sales for the third consecutive month, signaling a negative trend for capacity. Transportation prices contracted at their slowest rate since September 2022, while fuel prices decreased by 13.5% year-over-year.
Wages and salaries continued to grow across the industry. New orders from manufacturers surpassed shipments for the seventh straight month in August. The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted at a faster pace in October, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Imports, although down year-over-year, were on par with pre-pandemic levels. Carloads and intermodal transportation increased but remained below the five-year trend. For a detailed overview, the full OOIDA Foundation market update for October is available here.
Source: Land Line