If you drive the major highways anywhere in the United States, you are certainly aware of toll highways. Tolls not only increase the cost of passenger car trips but also impact the freight cost to transport products by truck throughout the United States. The toll money collected from toll payments helps pay for road maintenance, rest areas, grass mowing, road salting and snow removal (in the northern states). States are rapidly investing in toll booth modernization and the implementation of cashless toll booths, E-Z Pass technology and license plate photos are all ways to reduce toll collection costs and increase the flow of traffic for all vehicles.
In September, demand for freight continued to remain strong. However a combination of tighter capacity and fuel price increases were causes for higher spot market rates. Refrigeration and flatbed freight dropped from August to September according to DAT Truckload Freight Volume Index. The index reflects changes in the actual number of spot market loads moved each month.
Within the last year, we have witnessed very tight truck capacity. Shippers have engaged the Spot Market to find scarce capacity at budget straining prices. The absence of transparency in the market, along with sourcing and pricing, also results in a lack of operational flexibility which leads new market opportunity service failure. With the technology we have in 2019, this attracts new market opportunity unlocking potential for real-time freight.
There are plenty of topics to look at when judging demand. Whether it be demand for fuel, freight, or drivers there are different signals to take into consideration. Traditionally for fuel it can be judged daily by taking a look at price spikes or drops. Then freight demand can be assessed seasonally or monthly by online load boards posted by brokerages.