Trucking Expert: Dry Van Spot Market Still Ice Cold

Supply chain professor Jason Miller analyzes June truckload data, suggesting the market won't meaningfully flip to carriers until Q2 2025 at the earliest.

Trucking Expert: Dry Van Spot Market Still Ice Cold
Image Source: Arrive Logistics

As we gear up for July 4th barbecues, trucking companies aren't finding much to celebrate. Supply chain expert Jason Miller's latest analysis of June dry van truckload spot rates paints a pretty bleak picture for carriers hoping for a market turnaround.

The Cold, Hard Numbers

  • Dry van spot rates up $0.06/mile from April's low
  • ...But still down $0.03/mile compared to June 2023
  • June's $0.03 increase over May is historically weak
  • Diesel prices only down $0.08/gallon year-over-year
"June's spot rate increase is quite weak relative to what we've traditionally seen in dry van TL bull markets." - Jason Miller, Supply Chain Professor.

A Cruel Summer for Carriers

  • Past June increases in bull markets:
    • 2014: $0.11/mile
    • 2017: $0.10/mile
    • 2018: $0.17/mile
  • Even 2019 (a down year) saw a $0.10/mile June bump

The Market Cycle Indicator

Image Source: Jason Miller/LinkedIn
  • Current spread between contract and spot rates: 16.6%
  • Better than last year's 19.9%, but still way above the 10% "flip" threshold
  • We're nowhere near the point where the market typically turns in carriers' favor
"Folks who predicted the dry van truckload market flipping from bear to bull in late Q2 or early Q3 likely made an overly optimistic forecast." - Jason Miller

When Will Winter End?

  • Miller sees Q2 2025 as the earliest possible meaningful market flip
  • ...And that's only if "many things go right from carriers' vantages"

The data suggests carriers hoping for a quick turnaround are in for a rude awakening. The current market conditions appear far more durable than many industry observers predicted.

While unexpected events could always shift the landscape, it looks like shippers will continue to hold pricing power for the foreseeable future. Carriers may need to hunker down and focus on efficiency to weather this extended winter in freight rates.

Source: Jason Miller/LinkedIn

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