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Loaded and Rolling: FreightTech 100 nominations, accessing trailer pools with FreightVana

Also included: ATA Truck Tonnage Index and diesel prices

FreightTech 100 nominations end soon

(Source: FreightWaves)

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year behind college football returning. If you or someone you know is innovating or disrupting the freight industry, the nominations for the annual FreightWaves FreightTech 100 are ending on Friday. To submit a nomination, use the link here

An external peer group of CEOs, industry leaders, academics and freight-industry investors will then whittle the FreightTech 100 list down to the top 25 most innovative companies in freight. The coveted FreightTech 25 is tabulated with the same mathematical formula used in the Amway Coaches Poll and AP Pro32 rankings for football and the AP Top 25 rankings for basketball. 

These nominations are a great way for companies and startups to get name recognition and accolades from their peers in the industry. I recommend everyone use the link to submit nominations and join the ranks of past honorees such as Amazon, Convoy, FedEx, J.B. Hunt, project44 and Tesla. 

Podcast interview: How trailer pool access leads one to FreightVana 

(Source: FreightWaves)

FreightWaves’ Loaded and Rolling recently had Freightvana’s John Gamero and Shannon Breen on the show to talk about trailers as a service and how access to trailer pools allows smaller carriers opportunities to find contracted freight. FreightVana recently partnered with OEM trailer manufacturer Wabash to support the trailer maker’s new trailer-as-a-service platform with the brokerage’s power-only offerings. 

Breen, who is co-CEO and founder of FreightVana said, “I’m really excited about what that partnership unlocks for us in the future. [It’s] clearly a little bit different type of collaboration than what some of our peers have done and definitely a different path than most in the space.” 

It is also a first for trailer maker Wabash, with FreightWaves’ Grace Sharkey noting, “Historically, Wabash has focused its business on semi-trailer manufacturing, although recently, the company has rebranded itself [by] expanding into other product offerings including last-mile transportation products, a parts and services network and technology-driven product development.”

Another major challenge for freight brokers is gaining access to large volumes of contracted freight. Breen and Gamero give their thoughts on how asset-light brokerages using their own purchased trailers can be a game changer for both business growth and carrier development. 
Check out the entire interview here.

Market update: ATA Truck Tonnage Index down in July, up year over year

(Source: American Trucking Associations)

According to the American Trucking Associations, the seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.1% in July, after increasing 0.5% in June. The benchmark is from 2015, which equals 100 index points. In July the index equaled 116.2 compared to 117.5 in June. Year over year, July truck tonnage data is up 5.1%

“Tonnage declined sequentially in July for only the second time during the last 12 months. Despite the dip from June, tonnage remains at elevated levels and increased significantly from a year earlier,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in the news release. “While tonnage is much stronger than a year ago, the monthly gains have moderated as the year has gone on. The combination of softer consumption of goods, home construction falling and slower manufacturing activity are the main reasons.”

The truck tonnage index is primarily composed of contracted freight data compared to spot market information. The major question in the coming months will be how much consumer demand will be impacted by the ongoing inflation due to consumption habit changes and geopolitical events. 

FreightWaves’ SONAR spotlight: Diesel prices decline at a lower rate 

(Source: FreightWaves SONAR)

Summary: Diesel prices paid at the pump continue to decline but concerns over demand have moderated its pace. On Monday, the Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration average retail diesel price declined 2 cents per gallon to $4.909. The DOE/EIA fuel price is commonly used as the basis for most fuel surcharges. 

What is notable are concerns that Europe will use diesel as a substitute for natural gas to heat homes and businesses. FreightWaves’ John Kingston writes, “The increases in diesel while crude and gasoline are falling may seem illogical. But diesel can be a substitute for natural gas in many applications, and natural gas prices — as well as prices for electricity made from natural gas — are rising to almost unprecedented levels.”

Europe’s rising fuel prices are creating runaway utility cost inflation. While most large carriers will make a profit from the fuel surcharge, if there is a notable rise in the price of diesel again, then these same carriers will operate at a loss on fuel until prices stabilize and the DOE average catches up.

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Thomas Wasson

Based in Chattanooga TN, Thomas is an Enterprise Trucking Carrier Expert at FreightWaves with a focus on news commentary, analysis and trucking insights. Before that, he worked at a digital trucking startup aifleet, Arrive Logistics as an Account Executive, and 5 years at U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. with an emphasis on fleet management, load planning, freight analysis, and truckload network design. He graduated from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga with a MBA in 2020 and a Bachelors of Political Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2013.