Coronavirus cases are down globally, up nationally, and unsurprisingly still making the markets unpredictable. However, truckload markets may be reaching normalcy for the first time in what feels like a long four month of instability.
June provided some much-needed recovery for the truckload markets, but COVID-19 outbreaks are growing exponentially in major freight markets such as California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida. The potential for volatility cannot be underestimated. With Coronavirus continuing to create chaos in the marketplace, many people are looking for a way to get a read on what is to come and New York is proving to be a useful case study for how freight markets might recover, since the state has a GDP that’s comparable to Canada and South Korea.
New York started their Phase one of reopening in mid-May and included agriculture, construction, and manufacturing businesses, provided certain health metrics were met. Testing ramped up, positive tests actually declined, and June was the first full month in which the state’s main manufacturing markets were open and had a 26% increase in outbound van volume. New York as a freight market can shine a light on what recovery may look like as other industries come back on line.
National average rates ended the month of June well above pre-pandemic levels, even when accounting for the lower fuel costs:
Van: $1.81 per mile, 21 cents above May.
Flatbed: $2.07 per mile, up 17 cents.
Reefer: $2.15 per mile, up 12 cents from May.
Those are rolling averages for the month of June and current rates are trending upward, rates on July 5th were:
Van: $2.03 per mile
Flatbed: $2.15 per mile
Reefer: $2.30 per mile
As of now all signs point to a rise in prices despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the states. However, with the rise of more cases comes the potential for a reset on the American reopening plan and it is anyone’s guess on how that will affect the markets in the days to come. One thing you can do is continue keeping an eye on the New York market for some solid predictions about recovery.