End of Year Freight Forecast

As we approach the end of October and the holiday season looms, we can anticipate several shifts in the freight market landscape.

Dry Van Availability: With the holiday season on the horizon, there’s a surge in consumer goods being transported, primarily via dry vans. This heightened demand is likely to reduce availability and may lead to increased rates. Shippers should be prepared for higher costs when using dry van shipments. Additionally, as temperatures drop, dry vans will increasingly be used to transport frost-sensitive goods, adding to their demand.

Open Deck Freight: Colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours are affecting open deck freight. In northern regions, as the construction and landscaping season winds down, there will be a decline in the transportation of lumber and equipment. Meanwhile, in the south, operations continue with minimal disruptions due to milder temperatures. You can expect an increase in open deck freight in the Pacific Northwest to haul trees in preparation for the holiday season, but there will be a shift in overall use of open deck transportation to using dry van transportation freight sensitive to the decreasing temperatures.

Oversized Freight: During the fall and winter months, the reduced daylight hours will result in longer travel times for oversized freight. This is due to limits and restrictions typically placed on oversized loads to travel only during daylight hours.

Refrigerated Trailers: A shift in refrigerated trailer destinations is expected. Refrigerated trucks will be in high demand in the Northwest and Midwest for the holiday season, as they transport goods like turkeys, apples, squash, and other harvests to meet the seasonal demands. Additionally, refrigerated trucks will also play a vital role in transporting Christmas trees as we transition from October to November.

In preparation for these seasonal changes, it’s important for businesses to plan ahead and be flexible with timing restrictions. Working with a broker like ELI can help secure the best rates and reduce the stress associated with shipping during the holiday season.

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