Today’s Pickup: April is in the books, trucking companies prepare for warmer weather and market conditions

(Photo: Shuttertock)

Good day,

As April comes to a close the overall economy appears to have continued its strong position as FreightWaves economist Ibrahiim Bayaan reported yesterday. While it does appear to have slowed slightly in terms of GDP, strong labor markets and investments demand are two factors that keep it moving forward. 

With the economy remaining strong and trucking companies a full month into the second quarter the general vibe of the market is one of cautious optimism for carriers. Many CEO’s and CFO’s of trucking companies talked about the unusually strong volumes and rates in the the first quarter on their earnings calls and how they reaped the benefit by being ready for it. But as they were asked about the remaining year many of them were quick to point out the market can be a fickle creature as they tempered expectations for investors moving forward. 

The market can be fickle, but to use a worn out cliche’, chance favors the prepared, and the companies who are focused on the long game will have easier calls in the future when the market is less cooperative.

Did you know?

According to ATRI research drivers average 56 minutes a day looking for parking. 


“Data [by itself] is bad. Being able to supply meaning and action, that is when data is good.”

-Adam Kahn, Vice President of Fleet Business at Netradyne

In other news:

Freight Railroads get boost from tight trucking markets

Retailers, manufacturers facing capacity squeeze on the highways are taking a slower path through intermodal rail to keep shipments moving. (WSJ)

What the Denham amendment means for the trucking industry

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reautorization of a bill that passed the House last week includes an amendment with serious implications for the trucking industry.(supplychaindive)

California trucking school owner got illegal licenses for students

The owner of a California trucking school has pleaded guilty to conspiring with state employees to obtain driver’s licenses for students who failed driving tests. (Insurance Journal)

Trump delays metal tariffs on Canada, EU, Mexico, exempts some others

President Donald Trump has postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union, and Mexico until June 1. (Reuters)

March airfreight prices up on 2017 levels

Average airfreight rates in March are down versus February but are still ahead of the pace for the month of last year. (Air Cargo News)

Final Thoughts:

FreightWaves Chad Prevost reported yesterday on FreightFriend, a company that is developing a digital app that does more than simple freight matching. The company is attempting to add more than simple load board technology by focusing on developing a social relationship between the brokers and carriers. They also have an integration component that works with most transportation management systems.

Many of the apps on the market currently ignore the relational component of brokerage as the developers focus on the interface on a mobile device. FreightFriend is keeping their target audience in mind by also making it easy to integrate. Something many apps struggle to offer. Technology without a focus on the user has little chance of success.  

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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.