Can shippers avoid volatility? — #WithSONAR

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Will shippers change habits to handle fluid markets?

If 2020 showed the freight industry anything, it was that the market can flip on its head without warning. 

Market volatility can cause problems if shippers, carriers, drivers or brokers don’t understand it. Luckily, Luke Falasca and Kyle Taylor break down some tools to use to help make sense of fluctuations. 

So far in January, Falasca says shippers are pushing for shorter bid times moving from quarterly instead of annual. Falasca believes continued high spot rates and tender rejections reinforce the desire for shorter contract bid prices so shippers aren’t locked in as the market changes. 

Taylor echoes this feeling, saying shippers are “hyper aware” of the market space as bids are being awarded. He thinks it’s not necessarily profitable for shippers or carriers to lock into high rates right now when rates will most likely fall as 2021 goes on. 

As far as carrier sentiment goes, Taylor says carriers want these high rates to be locked in, especially as freight volumes stay boosted post-holiday season. 

Falasca says these volume boosts are only heightened by people buying goods with gift cards or returning gifts after Christmas. 

Taylor and Falasca point out the freight volume spikes and rejection rates using SONAR data. One thing the guys think is super important is the continued fight for carriers to keep and utilize drivers. Falasca says it’s imperative for carriers not only to have the data, but to share that data with their drivers to make sure drivers are as informed as possible. 
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