Chris Caplice discussed the current state of the freight spot market with Supply Chain Management Review:
In a way it is a tale of winners and losers, as things relate to the contract market. On one hand, industrial volumes are down 50%, and that volume has moved out of the market. On other hand, retail volumes are up10% across the board. If you look at retail by itself, there are winners and losers there. Essential items like food are moving like gangbusters, whereas things like clothing are not. If you look at individual companies, there are winner and loser lanes…and it creates an imbalance in their networks and is not uniform. For truckload, that can be devastating, as carriers build their networks based on steady freight flows. But suddenly empty miles can throw things out of whack to cover a load. If a carrier needs to cover a load for a major shipper, they are going to cover it, but the empty miles might go away by up to 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, but they will still do it. The net effect of this is that we are seeing shippers be highly dependent on their routing guides, and we are seeing a little bit of that with them shifting away from their primary carriers. We are not seeing a huge increase in rates. In fact, we are seeing a decline in rates.