As we head into the Christmas holiday, national freight volume remains low. The market has been trending down since November, and hasn’t seen the characteristic holiday freight increase that was expected.
Capacity is plentiful in most regions, with tender rejections very low. In the week before Christmas in 2017, the freight market began rejecting at an elevated rate which continued through the new year. Turndowns were higher before Thanksgiving of this year than we are seeing now, and the current holiday season has not seen the expected capacity crunch.
However, Seattle and Twin Falls, Idaho have both seen rejection rates move up, with Twin Falls seeing its highest rejection rate of the year at 44%.
The biggest issue remains regional distances out of Seattle. Local runs still have capacity available as drivers favor sticking closer to home as we approach the holiday. If those longer hauls can wait until after the holiday passes, rates should be far more favorable for shippers.
Across the country, rates have started to increase as carriers work to get their drivers home for family celebrations. If shippers just need to get freight out of the warehouse, but have a flexible delivery window, allowing the carrier to pick the load and hold until after the holiday could result in savings.
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