The COVID-19 pandemic completely flipped the script on what was looking to be a solid year for freight markets. The economic standstill has suffocated many truckload sectors, but Emerge founder Andrew Leto believes that the worst may soon be behind us if the nation gets the go-ahead to jump back into rush-hour traffic.
On this episode of Freight.Tech Update presented by Emerge, FreightWaves market expert and analyst Zach Strickland discusses with Leto the benefits of opening the economy sooner rather than later.
Emerge’s Digital Freight Marketplace for spot and contract freight connects thousands of verified carriers and brokers. The company’s advanced features, including its dynamic RFP, intelligent route guides and spot tool, give users the confidence they need to make tough logistical decisions.
“I’m an optimist in that as long as the nation’s economy can get back to work within the next two weeks, things won’t go back normal immediately but it’s economically not going to get any worse,” Leto said. “I am confident that most of the country will be back to work by June.”
The sharp 20% decline in truckload volumes hasn’t been a surprise to Leto, who attributes the drop to the fact that nearly half of the U.S. workforce is currently unable to work at full capacity.
Although it may be risky to reopen the economy early this summer, Leto is confident that easing restrictions will not only benefit struggling freight markets but will also give the hard-pressed workforce the opportunity to get back to work. However, he does fear that an early economic reboot may have no effect on petrified consumers who may be unwilling to return to their old purchasing habits.
Regardless of when the economic resurgence does begin, Leto advises both brokers and shippers to find ways to stay on top of their game and to explore dynamic technology solutions to strengthen their companies’ business.
Leto advises brokers to make sure they’re being proactive with their shippers, as he expects them to take advantage of the fact that capacity is starting to loosen up.
Leto also noted that brokers may hurt a little as big carriers are wanting shippers to send them an even greater amount of business.
“Shippers need to tap into any capacity solutions available, such as digital brokers or marketplaces like Emerge,” Leto said. “They need to tap into technology to find more capacity and to make sure they’re taking advantage of what’s going on in the market.”