Over the past few years, there has been a cycle of both feast and famine when it comes to drayage and the rest of the trucking industry. There are some areas, such as spot dry van truckload rates, which dropped by double-digit percentages when compared to last year. On the other hand, rates overall have demonstrated growth. This may make it hard to predict what the drayage industry is going to do during the upcoming year. There has been some debate over how long the current market is going to last and many are calling for more stability and less turbulence. Fortunately, there is some consensus among the industry leaders.
2020 is Going to Be a Bounce-Back Year
Most of the executives in the trucking and logistics spaces believe that drayage is going to bounce back to some extent in 2020. As a floor, the industry should remain flat. There are two main reasons why industry experts believe that this is going to be the case. First, there is a tremendous amount of available capacity that has been added to the market by truckload carriers over the past few years. Second, there has been an increase in overall economic activity across the United States in this industry. In the past few quarters, the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that the US economy is continuing to grow. This is usually a good indicator of what the trucking and logistics sectors are going to do as well. There have been lower imports and higher inventories leading to this, further buoying people’s expectations for the drayage sector. In contrast, some sectors of the industry have seen a contraction in both freight demand and pricing. This means that the trucking market is primed to bounce back in 2020 to keep in line with higher inventories and a growing US economy.
Greater Demand is Approaching
Specifically, many trucking executives believe that there is going to be a market flip approaching that is going to lead to greater demand. There was a record-breaking 2018 in the trucking industry. Many people believe that this is a year that people only see once during the course of an entire career. In contrast, the past quarter, there was a significant slowdown in drayage. Many leaders believe that this slowdown was due to harsh winter weather across the country along with a delayed produce season. These are external factors that are not necessarily in the control of the trucking industry but, nevertheless, impact the economy as a whole. Therefore, the trucking industry is primed for a market flip to catch up with the overall demand.
A Year of Opportunity
Put together, all of this indicates that 2020 is going to be a year of opportunity for those in the drayage industry. Short-haul trucking is primed to grow as record inventories are going to be shipped from place to place. It is critical for those in the drayage industry to be prepared for growth.