Spot market pessimism among owner-ops near 2020 pandemic level

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 28, 2022:

Truckstop, Bloomberg survey suggests tough times ahead for owner-ops

Moderating economic activity and normalizing supply chains have reduced the need for trucking services and are driving the outlook for rates and demand lower, leaving higher-cost carriers worried about turning a profit in the coming months, according to the latest Bloomberg Intelligence | survey of owner-operators.

“Sentiment among survey respondents in the spot truckload market has turned significantly more bearish, according to survey respondents, about the prospects for demand and rates growth,” said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Current spot conditions may likely force a rebalancing, forcing higher-cost carriers to reassess their operations.”

The Bloomberg | 3Q22 Truckload Survey shows:

  • Pessimism among carriers has touched the pandemic lows seen in the first quarter of 2020. About 33% of respondents expect load growth to decline over the next six months, the lowest reading since then. Many carriers raised concerns over the strength of the upcoming peak season. Reefer carriers were the most optimistic, with only 10% of those surveyed projecting a volume decline in the coming months.
  • Spot rates decline, impacting carrier sentiment. Spot rates excluding fuel surcharges have fallen 31% since peaking in late December, which has negatively impacted carrier sentiment. Only 26% of carriers expect rates to rise in the next six months, the lowest level again since early 2020. About 38% of carriers expect a drop over the next 3-6 months.
  • Total demand has taken a turn downward. 74% of respondents noticed a drop from the second quarter, and about 57% said volume growth was down from a year earlier. The typical carrier reported an average decline of 30% in the number of loads available, in line with the 37% drop in’s Spot Market Demand Index.

The survey of owner-operators and small fleets reached 128 operators and consisted of dry-van, flatbed, temperature-controlled and specialized/diversified carriers. Of the respondents, 64% operated just one tractor.

[Related: Operators' top 2022 concerns drown out fleets still worried over a 'driver shortage']

Trucker Tools integrates real-time shipment tracking with Verizon Connect ELD

Trucker Tools has enhanced the real-time shipment tracking within its Smart Capacity platform by integrating with the Verizon Connect Reveal fleet management platform, which tracks compliance and truck drivers’ hours of service, and provides near real-time in-transit location updates.

The integration with the new ELD software and hardware offering will allow more than 100,000 commercial vehicles in the U.S. equipped with Verizon Connect to enable enroute location updates, sent as frequently as every 30 seconds with data seamlessly sent to the Trucker Tools platform. The data is used by brokers and shippers to manage load status, delivery scheduling and truck capacity planning.

The link-up with the Verizon Connect Reveal platform complements the Trucker Tools mobile driver app, which uses the embedded GPS features of the driver’s smart phone to provide near real-time, accurate in-transit location updates as frequently as every 15 minutes.

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Access to Verizon Connect ELD data is completely permission-based, with the truck owner and/or driver maintaining full control over access. Once user permission is received, a pre-built API (application programming interface) connects the Trucker Tools platform to the ELD, activating automated transmission of in-transit location data from the truck ELD unit.

Data sharing is restricted to GPS-based in transit updates; no other ELD or telematics data is shared. The Trucker Tools platform also has built in rules and instructions that eliminates duplicative data and ensures accurate reporting.

[Related: ELDs and highway safety: Crashes, injuries and fatalities rise post-mandate]

Pilot offering Veterans Day deals to military vets

In honor of Veterans Day, Pilot Company is continuing its long-standing tradition of giving back to military service members and their families by offering a free meal at more than 750 participating Pilot, Flying J and One9 Fuel Network travel centers across the country.

Veteran-founded Pilot Company is also bringing back its record-setting roundup campaign with the Call of Duty Endowment to help more of the nation’s heroes transition to successful civilian careers after military service.

Over the last four years, Pilot’s partnership with the Endowment has helped place more than 6,000 veterans into meaningful careers after the military. Guests can join the cause to help veterans find high-quality careers by rounding up their in-store purchase to the nearest whole dollar at any of the company’s owned and operated Pilot, Flying J or One9 Fuel Network travel centers from Oct. 31 through Nov. 13. Pilot will donate 100% of the roundup proceeds directly to the Call of Duty Endowment and will match the donations raised up to $100,000.

Additionally, from Nov. 11-13, service members and their families verified through in the Pilot myRewards Plus app will receive a free meal credit, valued up to $12. The Veterans Day offer can be redeemed through the myRewards Plus app at participating Pilot, Flying J and One9 Fuel Network travel centers on a wide variety of food and beverage options, including hot and cold deli items, name-brand snacks, fountain drinks, Pilot coffee, and meals at participating on-site restaurants.

This year, the $12 Veterans Day meal credit will be a rolling balance, allowing guests to use any remaining balance the next time they stop over Veterans Day weekend during the offer period.