Trucking and Logistics in 2024

Insights into the Trucking and Logistics Trends in 2024 from Universal Logistics Services, Inc.’s Strategic Account Manager, Max Burch!

2023 finished with a whimper when it came to the spot market many spots depended on carriers as well as owner-operators who were nearing retirement age and ended up closing up shop in Q3 and Q4 of 2023 (Source).With all of this being said I am foreseeing a marginal increase in the spot market as a whole in 2024. I am projecting this for a few reasons: Reduced spot market and expedited capacity; Increasing fuel prices, increased geopolitical instability causing issues with freight entering through ports, and the 2024 election.

2023 was a huge year for the Mexican supply chain with the trend of nearshoring becoming more prevalent. Mexico is looking better and better for companies looking to lean up and green up their supply chains. With companies like Tesla and BYD planning factories and joining stalwarts like Toyota, GM, Ford, and Stellantis in their investment in Mexico carriers will soon have to follow in this trend. In 2024 I am anticipating a major influx of American companies and carriers either purchasing or partnering with already established Mexican companies in order to get in on the ground floor and expand their network in the central and west of Mexico. This could be a game changer for many companies that are struggling with the state of the US freight market if they are able to cash in on this land grab to the south.

In 2024 I am also foreseeing an increase in the prevalence of AI technology in logistics companies “Toolbox” could be implemented through companies’ TMS or even an email reply assistant that utilizes data from trucks ELD location and automatically replies to email. As these technologies become more and more commonplace major players in the logistics technology space such as Samsara, Trucker Tools and Eroad will make advanced AI more accessible to their customers. Allowing logistics companies to do more with less during this market stagnation in Q1 and Q2 of 2024.

Last but not least I am forecasting a rebound in contracted rates in 2024 (Source). This is based on the fact that many fleets had to downsize durning this market downturn we all experienced in 2023. This reduces overall capacity in the spot and contract market driving rates up and inorder to capitalize on the higher than recent contract rates carriers could potentially ask or a rate increases to retain drivers and keep us with increasing fuel prices. This would cause the shippers to more often than not place the lane back out for bid to “test the waters” of this new contract market.