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Weekly Freight Market Update: Green Shoots and Green Beer

Industry Insights, ShippersPublished on March 2, 2019

After a frozen February, the freight market is thawing. Volume spiked this week across the country, reaching levels not seen since the pre-holiday rush. Most of this volume was driven by the West Coast ports coming back online after the Lunar New Year pause — but green shoots are appearing across the market.

The West is largely responsible for pulling the market out of the winter doldrums. Up and down the Californian coast, volume is up, which has been a consistent trend since the beginning of 2019. This week, Los Angeles’ volume hit its highest level since FreightWaves SONAR recording began in 2018.

Volume reaching pre-holiday levels this week. Source: FreightWaves SONAR

Even with all the additional freight, rejection rates remain low, hovering around 2%.

Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia are also showing glimmers of life with rejection rates coming out of the basement, reaching about 5% this week for the first time in the past few weeks.

A sub-plot of 2018 was the record-breaking levels of new truck sales. The impact of all those trucks in the market has been clear so far this year, and rejection rates are staying historically low. Rejection rates across the country continue to hover around 8%, even with additional volume coming in. As a comparison, rejection rates were closer to 25% this time last year.

Get out ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

For beverage shippers and carriers, major summer holidays always stress the freight network’s available supply. But the highest consumption day in the U.S. for beer enjoyed outside the home is just around the corner.

According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest “on-premise” alcohol consumption day, and it falls on the weekend this year.

Breweries, biergartens, and pubs alike are preparing to keep steins full of dark stouts and green-dyed lagers. Look for an increase in shipments if you regularly haul beer. If you’re a shipper hoping to get the brew off your dock, be sure to tender over shipments early to secure capacity.

See what’s happening where you ship

Get a detailed breakdown of trends in your region with Convoy Shipper Platform. Market Outlook curates a view of freight impacts and trends by region to give you a full picture of the market. It’s free to access — simply sign in or register now.


Convoy Team

Convoy is the nation's leading digital freight network. We move thousands of truckloads around the country each day through our optimized, connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers, increasing earnings for drivers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet. We use technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency in the $800B trucking industry, which generates over 87 million metric tons of wasted CO2 emissions from empty trucks. Fortune 500 shippers like Anheuser-Busch, P&G, Niagara, and Unilever trust Convoy to lower costs, increase logistics efficiency, and achieve environmental sustainability targets.
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