Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence released the results from their survey, showing that moderating economic activity and normalizing supply chains have reduced the need for capacity and are driving the outlook for rates and demand lower. This leaves higher-cost carriers worried about turning a profit in the coming months, according to Truckstop's news release.
“Sentiment among survey respondents in the spot truckload market has turned significantly more bearish, according to survey respondents, about the prospects for demand and rates growth,” said Lee Klaskow, logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Current spot conditions may likely force a rebalancing, forcing higher-cost carriers to reassess their operations.”
The Bloomberg and Truckstop 3Q22 Truckload Survey shows:
- About 33% of respondents expect load growth to decline over the next six months, the lowest reading since 1Q20 and significantly higher than 3Q21 at 9%. Many carriers raised concerns over the strength of the upcoming peak season. Refrigerator carriers were the most optimistic, with only 10% of those surveyed projecting a volume decline in the coming months.
- Spot rates excluding fuel surcharges have fallen 31% since peaking in late December, which has negatively impacted carrier sentiment. Only 26% of carriers expect the rates to rise in the next six months, the lowest level since 1Q20. About 38% of carriers expect a drop over the next three to six months.
- 74% of respondents noticed a drop from 2Q and about 57% said volume growth was down from a year earlier. The typical carrier reported an average decline of 30% in the number of loads available which is in line with the 37% drop in Truckstop’s Spot Market Demand Index.
“The most important thing to Truckstop is that we continue to provide the tools and resources our customers need to keep their businesses moving forward, regardless of market conditions,” said Kendra Tucker, CEO of Truckstop. “Our platform and solutions help carriers perform the critical day-to-day functions needed to help ensure they can weather these types of market fluctuations and remain profitable.”
The Bloomberg and Truckstop survey featured a sample size was 128 owner-operators and small fleets, consisting of dry-van, flatbed, temperature-controlled, and specialized/diversified carriers. Of the respondents, 64% operate just one tractor.