02 Jan From the Summit – Week of 12/31/18
Summit Expedited’s newsletter featuring current market trends and other exciting news at Summit.
A Quick Glance at 2018
2018 brought some big challenges for the truckload market. One of the more prominent challenges we observed was the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and combating a nation-wide driver shortage. At the end of 2017, with the new ELD regulation approaching, we saw a steady increase in rates. We knew that ELDs would continue to increase truckload rates into 2018 while also slowing the movement of freight across the country.
Although carriers were aware of these new requirements, they were unsure of how how drastically they would affect the freight market. With carrier uncertainty at a high, we saw a large spike in rates in January of 2018. Pricing remained elevated until March, where the market adjusted to the new standards. There was a brief period of relief before produce season hit along with a massive inflow of freight to the Southern California ports.
The Southern California market is known to be an accurate indicator of freight flow for the remainder of the country. This region showed the relationship of diminishing capacity within Southern California and the rate spikes felt across the country. The same trends follow through year’s end.
Despite rapidly changing markets with limited driver availability, the surge in pricing evened out toward the end of the year. Looking back to December 2017, dry van spot rates were at $2.12 per mile, with carriers putting a premium on rates just before the ELD implementation. December 2018 dry van rates were lower at $2.08 per mile.
Current Market Trends
In the past, we have seen a prolonged rate spike in the month of December due to last minute shipments near the Holidays or before years’ end. This last December, we saw a small jump in the beginning of December which brought dry van rates up to $2.14 per mile. These rates cooled back down as the end of year approached.
Looking Into the Future
The American Trucking Association anticipates truckload volumes will continue to grow 2% annually until 2022. Taking that into consideration for 2019, there are still a lot of unknown variables that will influence the truckload market. Upcoming import tariffs, the government shutdown which can delay the clearing of freight, a continuing driver shortage, and ELD push-backs are a few factors we anticipate.
Black Smoke Matters, the group that stopped traffic in Washington D.C. last October, are organizing another protest in April of this year. They are rallying against, and drawing attention to:
- Hours of Service Regulations
- Shipper / Receiver Accountability
- FMCSA Standard in Regulations and Inspections
- Giving Drivers a Voice on Any New Proposals
To help combat upcoming challenges, SEL is taking additional steps to increase capacity and improve driver visibility to customers. We will be partnering with Trucker Tools, adding a large volume of drivers to our capacity, and building new long-lasting relationships. We are also working with MacroPoint to move away from traditional cell phone tracking and will begin utilizing ELD tracking, giving us access to GPS coordinates directly from the carrier’s ELD provider. This new process will eliminate some of the problems we have experienced in the past.
Cheers to the New Year! We wish you a Happy Holiday season from the entire team at Summit Expedited Logistics! This holiday season, SEL celebrated with our traditional office potluck and Ugly Sweater Contest. The winner of this year’s contest was Steven G. Not only did he partake in the contest, but he also gifted a bottle of wine to each of his teammates and managers. Thank you Steven, and congrats on winning this year’s Ugly Sweater Contest! This was the perfect way to celebrate the joys of the season with the people we work closely with every day.
Thank you for being apart of the SEL community, we wish you a season of joy and continued success in 2019.
The New “Voice” of SEL
SEL will be implementing our new phone auto attendant starting today, January 2nd.
In the process of implementing this improvement, SEL opened the opportunity to be the voice recording to the entire team. Team members that were interested in being Summit’s new auto attendant went through two rounds of “auditions”. Each participant called into a manager’s office and read from a practice script and were narrowed down to a four finalists. These finalists called into a large conference room where the entire team gathered to vote on who delivered the script the best. This was a fun and inclusive way to select the new voice of Summit as a team.
By receiving the loudest applause from the team, the winner of the auditions was Jennette Williams. Congrats Jennette! We look forward to seeing how this new process will improve efficiency and the level of service we are able to provide to our customers and carriers alike.