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Regulatory Update: FMCSA Approves Thousands of New Carriers in March! 

April 10, 2024 0LinkedIn Postings

According to the latest analysis by FTR, the FMCSA approved 5,187 new carriers in March while revocations came in at 5,034 resulting in a net increase of 153. While it’s a small increase and only one month, this marks the first time since March 2023 that the number of companies increased. Overall, the pace of capacity attrition has decelerated in 2024, with 1Q24 seeing the fewest carrier exits since 4Q22. At the same time, the ISM emerged from 16 straight months in contraction territory, led by Production and New Orders. These two components are drivers of freight demand.  
 
What does this mean? 

  • Shippers: Continued uncertainty! Carriers exiting the market generally lead to higher spot markets, so if the carrier population stabilizes, we expect rates to not increase as fast. However, if manufacturing increases the number of shipments on the market, then we have more demand and stable capacity, leading to higher prices. 
  • Rates: Broker-posted spot rates have risen for four straight weeks in the Truckstop system for the first time in two years. Of course, the rate increase was 6 cents, so not a hockey stick. Still too early to call this a shift in the market.
  • Existing Carriers: Strong operators are hanging in there and finding opportunities with strong shippers and 3PLs like Synchrogistics.

Overall, uncertainty continues to govern the freight market. Continued shipment growth may yet push rates up, but it feels like forecasters have been saying that for over a year now…. For regular updates and freight industry insights, follow us on LinkedIn!

References:

  • FTR Data Analysis

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