Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Newsletter presented by Dunavant. In this issue, Southeast heats up; trucking goes hybrid; Lego Mack; and more.
While the gettin’ is good
We’ll take it — Before we jump into the lack of “green shoots” in the market, it’s worth highlighting this week’s bright spot. The Southeastern freight market. Blitz week and Memorial Day may have put some pressure on capacity in the region as rejects hit double digits across some lanes. Some readers are even reporting paying $3.50 to $5 for reefer loads. The real question is, will it last?
‘State of Freight’ — Darren Field, president of intermodal at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, isn’t seeing any green shoots as imports are down 21% y/y in April at the nation’s top 10 ports, according to The McCown Report. He isn’t the only one. Craig Fuller, FreightWaves CEO and founder, said he doesn’t see any signs of a significant uptick in demand for freight capacity in 2023.
“We have this backdrop of where we’ve come out of this period of time where capacity has grown beyond any amount of demand that we could expect to happen this time of year seasonally speaking.” — FreightWaves’ Zach Strickland
Head fake — If you’re excited about any uptick in rates you’re seeing this week, Fuller advises that you temper your expectations. Post-blitz week and Memorial Day, there just aren’t the fundamentals present to sustain a run-up in rates. However, we may be at the floor. Fuller says, “It may be that we’ve hit a bottom for rates; it doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods.”
You can catch the whole “State of Freight” webinar right here.
Does trucking need a new model?
The hybrid — Convoy founder and CEO Dan Lewis took to LinkedIn the other day to pitch his vision for the future: a hybrid carrier model. Lewis wrote, “Hybrid carriers have a digital truckload marketplace, a universal pool of trailers, online drivers and equipment, and broad industry integrations, all running on a technology platform that uses data and AI to orchestrate everything, manage carrier quality, and generate actionable insights for shippers.”
Startup whisperer Charley Dehoney agrees, “This affirms a feeling I’ve had for many years, which is — in the future, logistics companies will have assets and also will be asset-less/asset-light.”
So, have FreightTech offerings “paved the way to disrupt fragmentation with a new model of shipping: the hybrid carrier model?”
Skeptics — WARP co-founder and CEO Daniel Sokolovsky clapped back against the blog post by saying, “I’ll give Dan credit for one thing: his marketing team knows how to craft a blog that uses big words that sound important to say very little.”
His contention? Hybrid models aren’t anything new and WARP has already been working on collaborative freight networks.
But, Sokolovsky may be looking at this the wrong way. Lewis isn’t saying they need to reinvent the wheel so much as that the industry and Convoy need to be more proactive in their approach to a fragmented market.
“We don’t believe there will be a single winner that will consolidate the entire market onto its platform. We do expect that there will be a small number of hybrid carrier platforms that become industry leaders and benefit from economies of scale [and] network effects.” — Convoy CEO and co-founder Dan Lewis
Metafora’s Ryan Schreiber knows one thing: “The future is asset/non-asset blend.”
Up Sauquoit’s Creek
New Hartford Police
Without a paddle — A trucker ended up fording Sauquoit Creek in New Hartford, New York, on Wednesday after crossing a driveway, going down an embankment before finishing his journey in the creek below. How would you go about telling your boss you hit a fish with your truck? Email me. Best response gets a shoutout on the show.
1 million-Lego-brick Mack
60 years — Mack Trucks Australia has come for my heart and a Guinness World Record with their Lego Mack Anthem build, which celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary. Built by Lego brickmaster Ben Craig, the rig measures 4 meters high by 2 meters wide and 8 meters long. The two-month build actually took substantially longer than the six days it takes to assemble a real Mack.
This beast was on display at the Brisbane Truck Show, where it was crowned with a bulldog. But how is it all held together? According to BigRig Australia, “Strengthened with metal internal supports, the Anthem will feature a detailed exterior and interior, including wheels, air lines, fuel tanks, turntable, fully operable doors, and 36-inch sleeper.”
So far, the biggest build I’ve done is the 9,000-piece Titanic. This is 111 times the size of that!
3D-printed habitats on Mars; coffee logistics and selling in a down market — On Friday’s episode of WHAT THE TRUCK?!? I’m talking to NASA’s Nicole Piontek and Mike Ewert about the space agency’s CHAPEA mission to build 3D-printed habitats on Mars. We’ll learn all about the logistics involved with putting people and supplies on the red planet.
Aerial Resupply Coffee’s founder, Mike Klemmer, talks about coffee supply chains. We’ll learn all about what this veteran-owned java brand has got brewing.
Coffee is for closers, so Put That Coffee Down’s Kevin Hill is dropping by the show to dispense his top-five tips for selling freight in a bad market.
Plus, news, weirdness and more.
Catch new shows live at noon ET Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWavesTV, FreightWaves LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube, or on demand by looking up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player.
Now on demand
How SONAR foresaw the freight recession and what it’s seeing now
Truckers vs. Buc-ee’s, launching a Titan and market stability
Subscribe to the show
Or simply look up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player.
All FreightWaves podcasts can also be found on one feed by looking up FreightCasts wherever you get your podcasts.
Don’t be a stranger,
The post <strong>Southeast markets heating up?</strong> appeared first on FreightWaves.