Freight Market Update – May 2024

Entering May marks a dynamic shift in the transportation industry. With warmer weather as well as upcoming events like produce season, Mother’s Day, Roadcheck Week, and Memorial Day, anticipate changes in supply and demand.

Produce Season

With produce season continuing to ramp up in May, the demand for refrigerated trucks starts to surge, resulting in elevated prices for last-minute bookings. This spike impacts all businesses reliant on refrigerated transport, extending beyond those directly involved in the spring harvest. Strategic planning ahead of time becomes crucial to secure required space and favorable pricing.

Weather Changes

As May ushers in warmer temperatures, open-deck freight activity surges across the US, especially in the northern regions previously impacted by weather-related challenges. As open-deck resources are redistributed nationwide, capacity tightens for shippers originating from the south, leading to upward pressure on pricing. This dynamic creates a competitive market environment and results in higher spot rates.

Roadcheck Week

During International Roadcheck Week, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance checks -this tightens truck availability due to inspection time eating into hours of service. Trucks may be temporarily sidelined if found non-compliant until meeting standards.

May Holidays

While Mother’s Day and Memorial Day have minimal disruptions compared to other holidays, the spot market can still be affected as drivers take time off, reducing carrier supply. Shippers may also shut down or operate on minimal hours around these holidays, leading to decreased volumes shortly afterward.

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