Today’s Pickup: Trucking markets climbing, and are still looking up

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

The freight markets are still showing signs of stabilized growth. According to the Morgan Stanley Freight Pulse 49 survey shippers are still expecting to receive another round of increases this year. The first quarter of 2018 has proven to be a volatile but fruitful one for carriers as many trucking companies on our watch list, like JB Hunt, are reporting solid revenue growth in a time of year that is not normally known for growth cycles. Earnings may not be as “rosy” as expected, but carriers will need be able to mitigate costs with operational efficiencies as the year progresses and volume increases.  

Shippers find themselves in a rare position as carriers appear to have more leverage than they have had in years. They will need to find ways of lowering their exposure to the rising costs of transportation by managing their relationships more closely. 

Did you know?

You can fit over 200,000 eggs on a 48 foot reefer trailer.


“For carriers, there is a feeling of ‘Let the Good Times Roll,’ and the data is backing that up”

-Jonathan Starks, COO, FTR

In other news:

New Jersey could lose $631M in federal cash by missing this deadline

New Jersey’s safety program for rail systems needs work, otherwise it may miss out on a large federal sum. (

As the freight rail industry regains steam, this Fort Worth factory is hiring

The freight rail industry is capitalizing on the strong economy and modernizing its equipment. (keranews)

Mike Ducker, FedEx Freight president, retiring after 43 years with Memphis-based company

Mike Ducker, the CEO of Fedex Freight the past 4 years, is retiring. (Commercial Appeal)

UPS aircraft mechanics union plans to ask Trump for help in contract talks

The union representing aircraft mechanics at UPS has drafted a letter to President Trump asking for help. (AJC)

Maersk will not send goods to people on sanction list

Maersk Line will not be sending goods for or recieve payments from individuals and companies on the US sanction list imposed on Russia. (Shipping Watch)

Final Thoughts:

It is an exciting time in transportation. The industry has been experiencing growth that it had not seen in many years. Growing pains are to be expected. For the industry to sustain at the new normal levels the participants will need to adhere to the old economics idea that education and technology are the only way to create a sustainable increase in the quality of life. It appears many in the industry are making legitimate attempts at these two endeavors. Time will tell if they are effective. 

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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.