The annual gathering of freight transportation industry analysts reveals some common themes, largely around the notion that rates are not likely to increase much—if at all—in some modes and will continue declining in others. Does this mean things are stabilizing? reviews Logistics Management.
There is much turmoil in the world on many levels, from conflict, to economic challenges to energy uncertainty and social and political issues, right down to the basic, fundamental activities of moving the world’s freight. The North American economy remains strong, despite predictions of a recession on the horizon.
Does this sound familiar?
Well, this was the lead portion of the 2019 Rate Outlook that I wrote, just before COVID took hold. These words are equally relevant today, as does the line that “…there are so many moving parts and indecipherable variables that predictions are in lock-step with the old adage that ‘forecasts are either lucky or lousy.’”
Turmoil has risen markedly, with the war in Ukraine and the ripple-effect on the cost of fuel around the globe and in the United States, coupled with the unusual circumstance of full employment, spiking inflation, and yet more predictions of a looming recession.
Developing a point of view on what will happen with freight rates in 2023 is a bit like picking who will win the World Cup: There are the odds-on favorites and then there are the unexpected dark horses. In the spirit of what goes up, must come down, we’re seeing major adjustments in pricing and capacity as the players on the field—carriers, shippers, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), and third parties—struggle placing their bets.
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Source: Logistics Management