FreightWaves September Webinar Recap: Hurricane and Market Update
Impact of Hurricane FlorenceOver the past week, the impacts of Hurricane Florence have been widely felt in the trucking industry. Heavy rainfall has caused serious flooding, resulting in the closures of major highways and thoroughfares. The severe flooding will continue into next week, when rivers are finally expected to recede. Damage from the storm is estimated at $15-20 billion, including significant disruption to local manufacturing, housing, and retail spending. Fortunately, with the nature of these events, much of the loss to GDP will be made up in future months as the rebuilding process gets underway. There has been a significant uptick in inbound freight to major metros outside the affected area, with cities like Charlotte and Atlanta serving as staging areas for relief supplies. Meanwhile, areas that are more immediately affected, such as Raleigh, have experienced sharp declines in trucking activity. Carriers have moved their equipment out of harm’s way and are rejecting primary tenders.
Trucking Employment and Capacity UpdateTrucking employment has increased over the year, outpacing hiring in the broader economy. FreightWaves took a look at how that hiring breaks down and where the capacity has been added over the year. As an industry, trucking employs approximately 1.48 million individuals. Over 60 percent of those are involved in long-distance freight. While both long-distance and local trucking have added employment in 2018, local hiring has tapered off in recent months. This aligns well to capacity needs of each as long distance capacity continues to be tight, with local trucking markets starting to reach equilibrium.
Freight Market OutlookOverall, the economy remains in a strong place, with experts at FreightWaves anticipating 3 – 3.5% GDP growth in Q3.