While larger carriers have remained optimistic, smaller operators have sounded off that this is very challenging times. The reason that the large carriers do not feel that the market is soft is due to the quality of their established relationships with shippers. Also, shippers are reluctant to pull loads away from the large carriers for fear of running out of trucks when the market tightens. This game of fear has thus made the freight volumes for large trucking companies remain quite consistent (even with less demand for actually shipped goods), as shippers feel a sense of fear that otherwise their freight might be left on their docks.
To combat some of the challenges smaller carriers are experiencing, FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller suggest carriers to have a diversified offering for better insulation to market changes, and that the usage of technology to maintain high-quality relationships with shippers and other customers will also be crucial.
When industry conditions are seriously hurting SME’s, and big players are staying afloat due to fear tactics, it is probably a sign that the underlying forces comprising the market are starting to shake and change direction. Evidently, this poses problems for traditional players, but it also opens up opportunities for innovation and new, and hopefully better, services, for example, autonomous trucks.