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Market Update 2/29/2024

Logistics industry market trends you need to know.




  • U.S. East Coast Ports Volume Downturn:
    • As of early 2024, U.S. East Coast ports have been experiencing a downturn in volume. This change is attributed to various global logistics challenges and shifts in shipping routes, which include rerouting vessels to the U.S. West Coast to avoid congestion and potential delays.
  • Response to Houthi Rebels’ Activities:
    • The ongoing activities of the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea region have led to increased vigilance and security protocols by international shipping companies.
    • The situation underscores the need for coordinated international efforts to ensure the safety and security of maritime traffic, which could have implications for shipping times and costs, particularly for routes connecting the Red Sea to major US ports.
  • Impacts:
    • The ongoing situations in the Suez Canal and Panama Canal have impacted available capacity and ocean container prices due to rerouting and diversions.
    • Despite these challenges, ocean rates are showing signs of steadying in some lanes.
    • The adjustments have led to increased transit times and delays in product arrivals, emphasizing the importance of contingency planning and the potential for considering modal conversions to air freight for critical shipments.


  • Spot Rate Trends:
    • The beginning of 2024 saw a continuation of fluctuating spot rates across the trucking industry, with the dry van, refrigerated (reefer), and flatbed segments each responding to unique market pressures and seasonal demands.
    • Despite variations, a general trend of adjustment in spot rates was observed, reflective of broader economic and industry-specific factors.
  • In February, produce season typically starts in southern regions of the U.S. such as Florida and Texas, with these states becoming focal points for seasonal demand due to the influx of produce from Mexico and Latin America.
    • The surge in produce shipping from these areas affects the freight market, notably impacting outbound spot rates due to the increased demand for transportation​.
  • Capacity:
    • A notable trend in early 2024 was the continued adjustment of capacity.
    • Following peaks in 2022 and mid-2023, the market saw a contraction in capacity (continues to do so), which was especially pronounced in January 2024.
      • This trend suggests a market recalibration that could impact freight rates.



  • Ramadan begins (March 10)
  • Daylight Savings Time (March 10)
  • Easter (March 31)


Great Lakes, Central Appalachians, and Northeast:

  • Snow: Light to moderate snow is forecasted across the Great Lakes, Central Appalachians, and Northeast, contributing to the winter landscape but with less severity compared to the West Coast mountains.
  • Warm Temperatures: The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will experience temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above average, with warm southerly winds preceding a front moving off the East and Gulf Coasts by Thursday.

West Coast and Mountains:

  • Heavy Snow: The Cascades, Northern Intermountain Region, Northern California, and Sierra Nevada Mountains are bracing for heavy snowfall.
    • A second winter storm this Wednesday and Thursday is expected to hit these areas hard, particularly affecting higher elevations above 5000 feet.
    • Blizzard conditions are forecasted for the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with potential for over 5 feet of snow, leading to significant disruptions and whiteout conditions making travel impossible.
  • Coastal Rain: Coastal areas in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California will see rain starting Wednesday, continuing into Friday. This rain will extend into Central and Southern California as the week progresses.

Thunderstorms and Showers:

  • Gulf Coast to Northeast: Showers and thunderstorms are expected from the Central Gulf Coast to the Northeast on Wednesday, associated with a deep low moving into Eastern Canada.
  • Lake-Effect Snow: Following the front, lake-effect snow will develop downwind from the Great Lakes into Thursday, providing additional snowfall to the regions.
  • Southwest and Southern Rockies: Scattered showers, thunderstorms, and higher-elevation snow are anticipated from Wednesday into Thursday, moving into the Southern Plains and affecting areas into the Lower Mississippi, Tennessee, and Southern Ohio Valleys and parts of the Southeast by Thursday night.

WPC’s Short Range Public Discussion (noaa.gov)


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