December has left the freight community patiently waiting like a kid on Christmas morning. Volumes have been incredibly stable, even trending slightly downward compared to November.
FreightWaves is reporting tender rejection rates are down to 12.71% nationally and close to year-to-date lows. The December freight market has been stable, showing little volatility or capacity constraints. That is a far cry from the anomaly that was December 2017, one of the most erratic periods for freight in recent memory. Not only is the market more stable than last year, but December volume has increased year over year. Even with the added demand, supply has grown enough in 2018 to keep up.
Across the West Coast, though, the market is split.
Capacity constraints in the Northwest continue, which is typical in the fourth quarter. While most of the country is seeing volumes dip, the tail end of Christmas tree season is keeping demand high, which is affecting capacity for local, regional, and long-haul shipments. With the Christmas holiday approaching, expect capacity to improve over the coming weeks.
It’s a different story in California, where volume continues to fall. Compared to November, Los Angeles experienced a 20% drop in outbound volume while Ontario dropped 14%. Such a reduction is attributed to low container numbers entering the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
In Northern California this month, outbound tender volumes in freight hub Stockton have steadily decreased and tender rejections remain unusually low for the season.
San Diego is one of the only markets in the Southwest trending upward with volumes booming in December. Truck capacity is tight in the San Diego market as supply has not yet caught up with the increased demand.
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