I could leave it right there and get a million or more “amens”. Well, maybe 78,000 short of that. Or, not? I don’t know but, I am sure many would agree with me.
So when can we realistically expect one? A rebound that is.
Well, let’s take a look at a couple of strong indicators.
Imports would be one of those and they have all but dried up.
The Daily Breeze’s Donna Littlejohn reports that the Port of LA has seen its lowest October since 2009. Usually, a very strong month as pointed out by Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. Given the fact that as we watched volumes drop Seroka was still thumping the Bull Market drum, his statement that November and December will be soft is not encouraging.
Seroka has taken to the streets of New York, Chicago, and even Europe to get cargo back to anchor in San Pedro Bay. However, he’s barking up the wrong tree, as import shipments and TEU volumes from all ports to the U.S. are down. Some index reports show them at 50% of May 2022 levels. Bookings for future shipments are depressed as well.
The LTL market is interesting because it is the first to pick up in volumes before a rebound. LTL volumes also increase as truckload volumes drop from an upcycle. It has to do with shipment size, spot market volume contracts, and the like. LTL is a very different animal.
Unfortunately, as reported by FreightWaves’ Tom Maiden, ”LTL carriers point to shrinking tonnage in November”. LTL volumes are dropping and executives are expecting a soft final stretch of 2022.
This trend in LTL as it slides off a truckload downturn indicates that the freight recession is gaining a bit of strength. How much strength? Let’s turn to the people on the front lines.
FreightWaves’ senior editorial researcher Joe Antoshak had this report from a recent market survey.
While there are pessimists and optimists and many data points to digest and plot, the data points to maybe some time in the medium to distant future for a flattening of the downturn in rates.
While many may have interpreted the results to indicate that a rebound in rates is likely in Q2 2023, the fact is that 52.17% think rates will be lower to about the same in Q4…of 2023!
Now, now, let’s take this with a grain of salt, as 16.97% were wrong before the survey results were even published. However, they were wrong because they thought rates had already seen rock bottom.
It’s gonna be a tight one. Stay informed.
Peace and love.
Read more articles from Michael “The Dude” Vincent