Today’s Pickup: Digital brokerage app lacking traction, freight markets still volatile

(Photo: TruckStockImages)

Good day,

FreightWaves Chad Prevost is reporting today on the UBS Evidence Lab’s finding about digital broker penetration into the freight market. The article states “DAT and remain central hubs for accessing capacity and loads,” while some of the apps like Trucker Path show significant traction in regards to downloads they just have not shown signs of significant revenues. A large portion of the target audience is over the age of 50 which will make the climb that much harder. 

The app industry is a tough egg to crack with a constant stream of players flooding the market. The moment an idea is generated and developed another competitor enters the space cannibalizing the market as users are inundated with a multitude of options. 

Did you know?

The UBS Evidence Lab estimates that owner operators account for 20-30% of the capacity in the for-hire trucking market.


“When a female proffessional driver pulls into a loading dock, she’s often met with skepticism from the men around her, who watch her as she backs the rig”

-Ellen Voie, Women in Trucking Associtation founder, according to CNBC

In other news:

U.S. housing starts rebound in May

U.S. housing starts rebounded to their highest level since 2007, but construction permits fell, indicating the construction pipeline may be contracting. (WSJ)

Tariffs start to ripple their way through the U.S. economy

The initial wave of tariffs are starting to show in the U.S. economy but most consumers wont notice the effect. However over time their are potential long term impacts to the domestic job market and GDP. (WSJ)

What’s going on with trucking and rail?

Inflationary concerns are running rampant throughout the nation, and transportation companies who have traditionally not been able to capitalize are increasing prices. (Seeking Alpha)

Goldman Sachs, Soros bet on the Uber of Brazillian trucking

Goldman Sachs is backing the Brazillian startup, Cargo-X, an Uber-like enterprise that guarantees payments and brings a tech focus to an antiquated industry. (Bloomberg)

Just 6 percent of America’s truck drivers are women — here’s what it’s like

Being a women in an industry that is almost 94% male is obviously challenging but there is also its share of opportunities.  (CNBC)

Final Thoughts:

The freight markets are showing signs of significant activity going into late June just as it did last summer at this time when many carriers lacked capacity as freight volumes surged. It was the first big sign the transportation industry had received that the “transportation recession” of 2016 and early 2017 had ended. 

Transportation companies have enjoyed one of the longest running booms since 2007. There is no evidence of things slowing down yet, but the question remains whether this current pattern will persist among concerns of an overheated economy and international trade policy changes.

Hammer down everyone!

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Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert & Market Analyst

Zach Strickland, the “Sultan of SONAR,” curates the weekly market update. Zach is also a one of FreightWaves’ Market Experts. With a degree in Finance, Strickland spent the early part of his career in banking before transitioning to transportation in various roles and segments, such as truckload and LTL. He has over 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing, and analytics.