Southeast Rejection Rates Top 7.5%

Southeastern carriers are rejecting loads at the highest rate since July 2022, breaking a two-year trend of low volatility and loose capacity.

Southeast Rejection Rates Top 7.5%

The trucking world is seeing some interesting moves down South. Rejection rates are spiking, and it's got industry watchers raising their eyebrows.

The Numbers Game

  • Southeastern dry van rejection rates hit 7.5%
  • Highest level since July 2022
  • Double the rate from last summer
"This breaks a trend of nearly two years of low volatility for the region." - Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert

Why the Southeast Matters

  • 2nd largest outbound freight region in the U.S.
  • Atlanta: Nation's 2nd biggest outbound market in 2024
  • Home to many carriers and drivers

The Plot Thickens

  • Rejection rates up since March
  • Atlanta's rate doubled since last summer
  • Outpacing other major markets like Ontario and Dallas

But here's the kicker: This isn't about increased demand. It's all about balance.

The West Coast Connection

  • Ontario, CA seeing 20% demand surge since May 1
  • Long-haul loads from SoCal prioritized by carriers
  • Midwest benefiting from West Coast boom
"Carriers tend to prioritize covering loads originating in Southern California because they are the most disruptive and provide the most revenue." - Zach Strickland

Spot Market Heating Up

  • Atlanta to Harrisburg rates up 16% since early May
  • Nearing average contract rates
  • Could trigger bidding wars if trend continues

The Big Picture

  • Plenty of trucks, just not where they're needed
  • Seasonal peak around July 4th could amplify issues
  • Signs of increasing market vulnerability to disruptions

What we're seeing isn't necessarily a capacity crunch, but more of a capacity mismatch. It's like a giant game of trucking Tetris, and right now, the pieces aren't falling where we need them.

As we head into peak summer shipping, all eyes will be on the Southeast. Will carriers adjust? Will shippers need to open their wallets wider? The next few weeks could tell us a lot about where the market's headed.

Shippers should keep a close eye on rejection rates and be prepared for potential service issues and rate increases, especially in the Southeast. The capacity imbalance may be temporary, but it's a reminder that even in a "loose" market, freight transportation is always subject to volatility.

Source: FreightWaves

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