The carrier’s executives continue to hope for the supply/demand equation to balance as inventory slowly rebuilds. Due to equipment and driver shortages, fleet growth remains limited. Is this recurring news a sign that things are getting back to normal?
After three years of being whipsawed by COVID-affected demand levels, the $332 billion full-truckload (TL) market is showing signs of returning to normal levels of “seasonality.”
“The truckload market is easing back to normal levels of growth,” says Avery Vise, vice president of trucking for Indianapolis-based research firm FTR. “We’re not seeing a glut of capacity. We’re heading back to stability, but stability at a level where shippers are happy about it.”
It would be ideal if there were exactly the right number of trucks deployed around the nation to haul exactly the right amount of freight at the right price to satisfy both shippers and carriers.
Ideally, yes. Since the pandemic, truckload capacity and freight levels have been unevenly matched. During the spring of 2020 economic shutdown, there was way too much capacity.
In the midst of crowded ports and freight piling up because of lack of drivers, truck capacity was buffeted by an unexpected surge in demand for some supplies.