2019 Rate Outlook: Stay steady, strong and focused

Indeed, it’s rare that we find a year when global trade has such an unsettling effect on domestic inventory levels, port volumes and capacity demands to handle the influx at those gateways.

By ·

Our Rate Outlook cover story is a tradition that started back in January of 2005, and it’s one that I hope continues to be an important forecasting tool for decades to come. The premise has never changed: Kick off the year with a picture of the state of the global economy and fuel cost and then examine how that reality will affect freight rates and capacity levels across each mode of transportation.

This structure brings together some of the leading trade, fuel and freight transportation analysts in the market, allowing each a few minutes at the lectern to offer a quick glimpse into the future to help shippers prepare their freight transportation budgets for the coming year.

This format works well for readers in print, and it also works in our (Jan. 24) when this esteemed group takes the mic to dig even deeper into the findings of the print feature.

This marks the 9th year that executive editor Patrick Burnson has led the charge in this story. Because Burnson has spent the last 12 years covering the ocean, ports and global logistics markets, it’s only fitting that he rounds up a panel again this year considering that now—more than ever—we find unsettled global trade issues causing more headaches domestically than any time in recent memory.

“If one were to draw a single conclusion from interviews for this feature it’s this: trade does not happen in a vacuum,” says Burnson. “Given the overheated political environment in most global markets, logistics managers are certain to confront a new set of challenges in rate hikes, capacity, and added costs when planning their domestic and global budgets this year—and the feeling is that the disagreements are far from settled.”

Indeed, it’s rare that we find a year when global trade has such an unsettling effect on domestic inventory levels, port volumes and capacity demands to handle the influx at those gateways. And while many Burnson interviewed this year believe that much of the uncertainly can be stabilized with a few strokes of political pens, the time it will take to rebalance that capacity could be years.

But as we’re well aware, the trade headaches are just a sliver of the greater concern. Toss the continued driver shortage, mounting federal government regulations on truckers, e-commerce growth and continued strong—although waning—U.S. economic conditions into the mix, and we find a nation of shippers attempting to manage a freight transportation network that has never been under more pressure.

Kick off 2019 by giving Burnson’s Outlook a read and then setting aside some time to . It’s rare that you’ll find such a collection of top market analysts in one place with the opportunity to ask your questions.

“It’s an unprecedented time in freight transportation,” adds Burnson, “with much hanging in the balance. Our panel suggests that it has never been more important to collaborate with carriers and intermediaries and stay steady, strong and focused on practical solutions in the short term.”

About the Author

Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of American Truck Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at [ protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.

Article Topics

Economy · Rate Forecast · Viewpoint · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Making the Case for Using a Transportation Management System for Parcel Shipping
We discuss the key pain points that all parcel shippers are dealing with right now and show how a multi-carrier transportation management system can help reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and improve the organizational bottom line.
Download Today!
From the June 2019 Logistics Management Magazine
Over the years, we’ve tried to steer clear of too many themed issues because we’re proud to offer our readers a wide breadth of industry information. The logistics and transportation market is so diverse, and shippers are looking to solve a multitude of challenges across a number of modes and services areas—never just one.

Warehouse Execution Systems (WES) Evolves Beyond “inside the four walls”
Got labor? How supply chain companies are recruiting talent during a labor crunch
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How to Solve The Unique Challenges of Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping
Join Logistyx President Ken Fleming for an appraisal of multicarrier shipping, TMS solutions and the nuances of interpreting Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for TMS, without a barcode label in sight! Using case studies, review scenarios traditional TMS solutions struggle to manage, such as high volume and international shipping, and learn why parcel shipping requires a different solution and how to design your process and architecture to leverage both effectively.
Register Today!
Got labor? How supply chain companies are recruiting talent during a labor crunch
How are companies faring in the race to recruit and train high-level supply chain talent in a market...
35th Annual Salary Survey: Compensation matters more than ever
While job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one...

2019 Rate Outlook: Pressure Builds
In 2019, the world economy will enter a third straight year of broad-based growth, but many...
2019 Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Update: Keeping pace with the times
The transportation management systems market is growing right along with the number of challenges...
christian weight loss book