At Trulos.com the Free Load Board has seen a lot of activity for FEMA loads and loads heading to areas affected by natural disasters.
But natural disasters also cause capacity to tighten and freight rates to jump as trucks get pulled into the disaster area. So if places like Texas and Florida use up more trucks than freight from places like California , Chicago and New Jersey see less trucks and a tighter capacity.
“On a typical day, Texas and Florida account for about 7 percent of U.S. trucking activity and affect another 4 percent indirectly as freight passes through on its way to other regions, said Noël Perry, an analyst at FTR Transportation Intelligence, an industry research firm.”
When these natural disasters hit we all know about them and as a country we care about the people affected. That said it is pretty easy to sell higher rates to customers when something like this happens. Hopefully the carriers will raise their rates and not just simply let the brokers sell higher rates.
“We’ll see significant upticks in volume, especially for truckload carriers and especially for flatbed carriers as all these hard-hit areas are looking to rebuild,” said Russell Norris, an analyst for management-consulting firm Grant Thornton.
“It’s a great opportunity for the truck industry to push rate increases because of the increased demand,” Norris said.
We have seen rates go up on the truckloads posted with pricing. Rates from Dallas to Houston used to be around 650 and now carriers are getting 950. Will it ever go back down. Probably but for now no one is taking the 600-650 freight and if you have to ship you have to pay a higher rate or your freight will sit and wait.
Trucking seems to be pretty fragile industry with weather events, driver shortages and regulations on driving hours. Any disruption seems to make rates to go up. A winter storm, seasonal produce and less drivable hours all lead to higher prices.
These fluctuations probably help the smaller truck operator right now that has the ability to work on the spot quote market rather than the bigger carriers that have contracts with huge customers. I am guessing it helps brokers as well.