Looking into the week, we expect the capacity to continue to loosen as volumes remain at midwinter levels. Occasional surges in demand are not unheard of in February, but they are unlikely to have much impact on capacity. Carriers who operate in California and around the ports need to start thinking about the effects of the coronavirus and what that may do to freight volumes in three to six weeks — the time it takes for international freight to hit the U.S. ports.
The Institute for Supply Management will be refreshing its Purchasing Managers’ Index this week. The index has been below the 50-growth threshold for the past five months. The contractionary status recently came to an end. However, there are still hardships for the manufacturing segment. The manufacturing outlook is bleak for the first months of 2020.
There will be an update for construction spending during the week. Gains in the residential segment have boosted U.S. construction spending. This sector is supported by high demand, but supply-side limitations will be a headwind to monitor for flatbed carriers to watch. Strong demand is also a great sign for dry van carriers as homebuyers fit-out their home with fixtures and fittings