How is COVID-19 affecting capacity and freight rates?

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category

Guest Blog Article

by Pat Pitz, DAT Solutions

(Pat Pitz is the editor of the freight broker newsletter at DAT Solutions. MercuryGate integrates seamlessly with several DAT products including DAT load boards, RateView, CarrierWatch and OnBoard.)

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has become one of the most disruptive events to hit supply chains in our lifetime.

Weather-related events, such as hurricanes and snowstorms are often confined to a specific region. And even national hardships, such as the great recession, played out over a number of years. But the novel coronavirus has hit quickly and has disrupted life throughout the world.

Read the most recent COVID-19 special report from DAT Analytics.

covid19 affecting capacity and freight rates

To keep transportation professionals informed about the effects on supply chains, the DAT Analytics team is publishing regular reports on COVID-19’s impact on freight markets, which will be updated every few days. The page includes analysis, frequently asked questions, and tracks these important metrics:

  • Load posts – The number of load posts on DAT load boards measure demand, as brokers post their freight on the spot market. For example, load posts shot up in mid-March, overtaking 2017, 2018 and 2019 for the same time period.
  • Truck posts – Truck posts measure capacity. When carriers have plenty of freight to haul, they’re less likely to post their truck on DAT load board. When things are slow, truck postings rise.
  • Load-to-truck ratios – A quick way to gauge current supply and demand conditions is the load-to-truck ratio: the number of load posts vs. truck posts. When load posts exceed truck posts by a certain margin, rates generally rise.
  • Freight rates – Rates in 2020 had been fairly tepid compared to previous years, but pricing has been volatile since the crisis began.

Read the most recent COVID-19 report.

Pat Pitz

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