Radio Recap: tech, truckload pricing, e-commerce and more

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FreightWaves Radio’s eighth national show was broadcast on Saturday, April 13 on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. Unlike other industry-specific radio shows that often have particular messaging or lobbying aims, FreightWaves Radio is an independent, data-driven look at what’s really going on in the freight world, and the episode proved just that. Hosts Chad Prevost and John Kingston kicked things off from both the SiriusXM studios in Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan, and from the Freight Alley studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Quotable from Craig Fuller:

“Every single company should be thinking about, ‘How do I end up writing the script?’ They have all the advantages. They should be writing the script on how to effectively destroy the part of their business that brings very little value to the customer, and I think if they do that they’ll end up being victors.”

Quotable from Scott Group, managing director, senior transportation analyst at Wolfe Research:

“We think first quarter reports are going to be the worst for the year.”

“The most important company to look at is J.B. Hunt. J.B. Hunt is the first report, and they sort of set the tone for earnings season, and they’re going to be on Monday. Also, they’ve got so many different businesses. We’re going to get a view from them on what is intermodal volume and pricing doing, what is truckload pricing doing, and what are the brokerage trends. And then dedicated. So, we’re just going to get a view on a lot of the different pieces within the transport landscape.”  

Quotable from Matt Trentacosta, senior consultant at IHS Markit:

“There’s merit to the truck [the Tesla Semi], it’s just not going to be a long-haul, on-highway type of truck. It’s going to be Class A – you could see it in port applications – you know maybe in California where they have some requirements, they may have a certain amount of battery electric trucks. You could have something going short distances; it really makes up for one of the big concerns in that battery range.”

Quotable from John Kingston on oil:

“If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.”

“It’s kind of like a water bed. You know how you push down on one side and the whole bed moves, Diesel markets are like that.”

Quotable from Steve Viscelli, economic sociologist and author of The Big Rig:

“We can’t use the rules from 40 years ago and just think they’re just going to apply without some interpretation today.”

Quotable from Mark Solomon, FreightWaves reporter, about the challenges for e-commerce merchants even as the sector expands:

“Customers are demanding free shipping across the board. It’s basically a deal-breaker for merchants if they cannot provide free shipping on returns, as well as original purchases. It is simply more expensive to deliver items to a customer’s residence as opposed to the customer going to a store and picking an item off the shelf and purchasing it at that time. There’s a lot of squeezing going on. Free shipping is not free. Merchants pay carriers for delivery. Sometimes they have to eat the cost, which shrinks their margins. And sometimes, especially for goods that don’t sell particularly well or frequently, they are forced to raise their prices to offset the cost of shipping.”

The FreightWaves Radio show will keep on coming live to you each and every week from 3:00-5:00 p.m. EDT on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. If you can’t tune in then, the show is also replayed on Saturday from 9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT and then again on Sunday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. EDT. Also, the show is available for two weeks via SiriusXM’s on-demand feature. Join the discussion on all things freight and see how so much connects to transport and the movement of goods.