Posts Tagged “truck demand”
Freight volumes and rates took a hit in April thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic., according to transportation analysis firm DAT.
Transportation analysis company DAT of Portland, OR reports in a news release its DAT Truckload Volume Index, a measure of dry van, refrigerated (reefer) and flatbed loads moved by truckload carriers, fell 19 percent from March and 8 percent from April 2019.
“With so many businesses closed or operating at low capacity, truckload shipments have plunged, which put spot rates in dangerously low territory for owner-operators and small carriers,” Ken Adamo, chief of analytics at DAT, said in a news release. “Some carriers parked their trucks to wait for better business conditions, but there’s still lots of available capacity as a result of the low volumes, which has kept rates down.”
The April load-to-truck ratio for vans was 1.0 nationally, which DAT said was the lowest level since February 2016. In fact, for three weeks in April, the ratio was less than 1.0, meaning there were more trucks than freight posted on the DAT network, according to the release.
For the week of April 7, the USDA reported that fruit and vegetable truckload volumes were 110,327 (10,000-pound) units, down from about 147,016 units for the week of April 2 a year ago.
Spot reefer volumes were weak but ended April on an upward trend as fruit and vegetable harvests started to get underway. DAT said the reefer load-to-truck ratio was 1.7 in April compared to 5.6 loads per truck in March, matching at all-time low in April 2017.
The national average reefer spot rate was $1.92 per mile, down 25 cents compared to March and 23 cents lower year over year. according to DAT.
U.S. average diesel costs were much lower, at $2.39 per gallon in early May compared with $3.17 per gallon a year ago.
Truck Demand Should Improve
With the market bottoming out in April, the outlook should improve for truck demand.
Ratecast and Market Conditions Index—predictive metrics from DAT anticipate higher prices and volumes as states relax their stay-at-home orders, produce season begins and port markets like Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Ga. and Elizabeth, N.J., see more traffic.
“Carriers will not be able to sustain operations very long at current levels,” Adamo said in the release. “Spring produce shipping should offer some relief and put some needed upward pressure on prices in May.”
There will be fewer tangerine and mandarin shipments from the top producing states this season…A look is taken at truck demand, rates and fuel costs…Plus, here is a glimpse at the top 10 potato shipping states.
California is expected to ship 21 million boxes of tangerines and mandarins this season, down from 23.9 million in 2016-17.
Florida is projected to have 860,000 boxes, down from 1.62 million last season, with the dramatic decrease due to the adverse affects of Hurricane Irma.
The Wonderful Co. of Los Angeles and Sun Pacific of Pasadena, CA are two of the larger shippers of the citrus.
Truck Demand and Rates
While demand for refrigerated equipment and qualified drivers has been getting a lot of attention, diesel fuel price are nearly a three-year high, adding the costs of trucking operations. According to DAT Trendlines diesel fuel nationally average $3.02 per gallon in December 2017, which was 16 percent more than in December 2016.
The Allen Lund Company of LaCanada, CA, like many other companies, have noticed the economy really taking off. The transportation firm is seeing 280,000 truck loads a year, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.
Another sign things are looking up for the U.S. economy is the increase in Class 8 truck sales. Over 300,000 Class 8 tractors were sold in 2017. When those trucks are delivered throughout the coming year, trucking capacity will be better.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported analysts are expecting long-term contract rates which shippers negotiate with carriers should increase between 5 percent and 8 percent this year.
Top 10 Fall Potato Producers for 2017
Total U.S. fall potato crop 399,840,000 cwt. Total U.S. Crop 441,310,000 cwt.
|RANK||State||Production (hundredweight)||Percent of Total
U.S. Fall Crop
2017 Minnesota Crop Production Report
Fall potato production in Minnesota was 18.4 million hundredweight (cwt.) according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is a 9.7 percent increase over 2016. Planted acres at 46,000 was up 3,000 and harvested acres were up 3,500.
By Ted Kreis
Northern Plains Potato Growers Association Communications
Fresh shippers from the Red River Valley are off to a strong start having already shipped over 700,000 hundredweight of potatoes prior to November 1st. That is a 32 percent increase over last year, a year that growers battled through wet harvest conditions.
Shippers believe they could have shipped even more potatoes this fall had trucks been more readily available. Packers with the ability to load railcars are doing so in a big way to help move the crop. And don’t look for more trucks anytime soo. Thanksgiving turkey truck demand and hunting season are expected to make 18 wheelers even tougher to get the rest of November.
The 2017 fresh crop is the largest in many years but not by much. It barely edged out the 2015 crop for total tonnage. Though similar in size, there are two glaring differences.
First, yellow potatoes make up nearly 21 percent of the 2017 Red River Valley fresh crop; that compares to just 13 percent in 2015. This has left packing sheds with considerably fewer reds to move compared to 2015, but of course more yellows The increase in yellow production both here and in other parts of the U.S. is in response to a continued increase in consumer demand. Nobody knows when or if the trend will subside.
Secondly, the quality is much better this year. In 2015 there was an unusually high number of growth cracks and other cosmetic issues. This year the color and appearance of the potatoes is excellent which has buyers excited and has created high demand for Red River Valley Red Potatoes.
The Red River Valley has long been the nation’s largest producer of red potatoes, and now ranks in the top five for yellow potato production as well.
The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association is located in East Grand Forks, MN
RRV potatoes from Grand Forks, ND – grossing about $3200 to Dallas.