As we embark on 2024, an election year following the turbulent events of 2020 and the ongoing challenges post pandemic, the market is poised for another unpredictable ride. ELI COO Michael Crosby dives into his predictions of market trends, discussing the impact of company exits on the industry, exploring the prospects of increasing rates, and highlighting how ELI is adapting and building momentum in a tumultuous market.
The 2024 Freight Market
The market has experienced extreme pendulum swings since 2020, and the uncertainties surrounding the election year add another layer of complexity. The key to navigating this roller coaster lies in fostering strong relationships with carriers and customers. Communication remains pivotal in times of uncertainty, as businesses must adapt swiftly to changing conditions. As the cliché goes, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride in 2024.
Company Exits and Market Dynamics
We are in a unique position since ELI has an asset and brokerage company under the same umbrella, notes Crosby. Each segment has had its struggles and obstacles since the market downturn, but asset companies have taken a significant beating. The extreme number of new entries into the market created a bubble that burst with vengeance. Companies saw increased costs across the board in 2022 and 2023, coupled with a steady and rapid decline in rates, creating a perfect storm for a trucking bloodbath. Crosby believes this storm hasn’t passed yet, predicting additional exits in the first half of 2024 until market equilibrium is achieved and rates rebound.
Freight Market Rates
“I wish I had a crystal ball. The winter storms at the beginning of the year increased tender rejections and saw rate increases,” comments Crosby on 2024 rate changes. The question lingers: how many trucks remained parked over the holidays and won’t be revving back up? ELI anticipates the pendulum swinging back around the first of March.
Adapting to the Market
In response to a unpredictable market, Crosby sheds light on adaptive strategies employed by the company. He emphasizes, “Our strength truly is our people.” ELI’s strength lies in building relationships, persistence, communication, and service. Our company is positioning itself for success by remaining vigilant, adapting to emerging trends, and staying ahead of the curve.