- Carrier exits in August were not as steep as earlier months, suggesting potential stabilization in the trucking market, according to a report by Motive analyzing federal data.
- Compared to July, 24% fewer carriers exited the marketplace last month, according to the report by the trucking technology company formerly known as KeepTruckin.
- “[The] contraction was the smallest seen since March of this year,” the report said, adding that the shift marks “one of the first positive signs in months.”
Net deactivations of operating authority have persisted since last fall, and while March 2023 was somewhat of a reprieve, capacity has continued to exit at a steady clip.
That makes August’s improvement significant, and Motive suggested the data may even “be a cause for cautious optimism” given more stable freight rates.
But the company still projects “overall contraction to continue into early 2024.” And other industry participants are noting similar outlooks.
“We expect there will be an accelerated pace of freight capacity exiting the market,” Werner Enterprises CEO, Chairman and President Derek Leathers said Aug. 3 on a quarterly earnings call. The executive noted at the time that federal data showed over 110,000 net truck deactivations for 44 consecutive weeks.
In another projection, Schneider National executives noted the truckload carrier’s outlook for Q3. They said the company feels like this quarter will be the bottom of the freight cycle.
“We anticipate a muted peak season,” Schneider EVP and CFO Steve Bruffett said last week at Morgan Stanley’s Laguna conference. “That sets us up for a more constructive start for 2024.”