Normal Freight Downturn For January

It seems every year after the holiday rush, freight drops like a rock in some sectors of our economy. I see it on our load board, down from a normal load count almost %50 just in the 30 days post holiday. It makes for some tough choices in choosing which loads will be best to haul and what areas you end up in for a backhaul. Freight rates had increased last summer to near normal pre-crash levels. I was seeing average rates near $2.15 a mile. This of course is not as high as we like it with fuel and cost of living increases.

I see freight rates now at a lower level, near $1.45 to $1.65. I did get a call for an emergency short run for $1200 for driving 285 miles. That was really good and the railroad needed a rail delivered same day, I guess they have the budget when the need is there. One rail with a weight of about 1000 pounds.

My area here is known for lower rates, unless of course it is an emergency and then they have to cough up the extra money to get somebody to take it. I really have a problem with how freight brokers will choke rates down according to what they think a contractor or trucking company will haul for, and then rake the top off the rate and pocket a bunch of money for doing really nothing. I do have a problem with brokers and will not haul their freight if I have identified that the load is from a broker.

Stores have a few reporting tasks to do in the new year, they have inventory and have tax liabilities according to how much inventory is in stock. So, to avoid many of these extra burdens, they do not stock as much or order new products until inventory is complete. This seems to be a normal thing that has been going on for decades. We see this every new year, freight drops and supply needs are throttled back on purpose, to avoid the tax man.

It is a tough time of year for a lot of the country. Less income, layoffs and job losses due to the bad economy does not help at all. It can be really a bleak time of year for a lot of folks. I do hope the new year will bring some better news for our country, there are a lot of people who need work and we hope the government can pull it’s head out of it’s backside and let us build the economy without the over-regulation that kills jobs and destroys trust from the private sector.

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