Freight Seasons & Rates
Did you know that freight has ‘seasons’?
In the cold, dark days of winter - guess what? Rates are coldest, too. And it’s harder to find loads in the dark.
Spring - things are warming up, eh? Rates are warming and more load volume is springing up everywhere.
The dog days of summer?! Oh yeah, it’s HOT season now. Rates are hot. Loads are bright. Everyone’s bumpin’ in the summer!
Guess what happens in the fall? Rates start to fall! Load options start to fall! Getting ready for the winter cold, we’re packing in the last of the fat to hibernate in the winter.
Your rates are going to change, just like the semi rates do. There’s ups & downs. There’s a season for everything - including rates and load volume.
If you’re just starting out and thinking about getting authority
Time it to the season. So that you’re ready when the load harvest is ready. Why start in the brutal cold??
Ups, Downs & Flatbeds
If you apply for authority in Oct or Nov, and you’re ready to rock & roll four weeks later….guess what? You just landed in the coldest part of the freight year.
You’re going to start out needing to make those payments and put some dough in your pocket.
This is not the time to do it.
Cyclically, freight volume (and rates) are lowest in late fall/early winter.
If you apply in December, you’ll be ready to roll in January. Much better than the previous two months’ outlook.
It doesn't matter if you're van, refrigerated or flatbed; that's just how it goes. But this is particularly true for hotshots.
We're not pushing holiday cargo here, right? We're hauling general freight. Companies slow down, orders slow down, load volumes slow down.
High freight season is April - October.
“Freight Season” is from April to October. This is when the volume of loads are highest - and the rates! oh la la la
Why? Because when there are more loads than trucks - rates go UP. It’s all about density.
Just like the temperature outside, your rates change with the season
Rates Per Mile
In January, things will start to look better. The slight upward trend towards freight season; so welcome after the Nov & Dec freight freeze. Right?
The trend will climb, and by April we’re back into freight season! During this time, you can push into more regions/areas as well. By spring its a freight frenzy.
Around mid-October you're going to feel the volume start to decline. This trend continues to fall/flat until mid-January. Then the trend will increase, slowly, through March. In April, we start high-freight season again!
This doesn't mean we can't roll during the slow period. It simply means that we tighten our belts, stick with lanes that offer the best in volume/rates. This isn't the time to venture out of reliable regions or take risks on an outbound load with no backhaul.
You know those months that have 5 weeks, rather than 4? Well, those are the paychecks you need to set aside for this time of year. Call it a Christmas fund. That little nest egg is going to get you through the slow season.
That's why you need a Freight Fund
Freight Fund a.k.a. Christmas Fund. For that slow time of year
It's smart to plan your time off / vacations around this slow freight period. Isn't it better to sit at home, with family and friends, than to sit at a truck stop waiting on a load?