The Uncertain Freight Market Continues

November 8, 2023


I hereby apologize on the behalf of 3PL workers, as it seems we’re living in a reality where the uncertain freight market continues.  Firstly, as we all know, the supply chain was being hit, and in many ways it is still recovering.  Also, while it seems as though things may level out and go back to normal, things may not be so clear anymore after some time.  After the closings of companies like Yellow, business owners in the freight industry aren’t to be blamed for being wary.  Mostly pivoting to a conservative outlook, the movers and shakers of the freight industry will remain cautious throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024. 

The Report 
Every quarter, FreightWaves, a 3PL focused publication and website, interviews people throughout different sectors of the supply chain industry.  This includes shippers, brokers, and carriers.  Overall, they ask them about subjects such as near/long-term profitability, their workforce, and other relevant factors.  Asking interviewees to score select categories between –100, and 100, with the former being negative, and the latter being a positive, the results were a bit mixed.  

Additionally, when focusing on brokers, the average score for Q4 2023, comprised of scores interviewees gave each category, was 8.78.  In short, the individual scores were as follows: 

  • Near-Term Profitability: -1.03 
  • Longer-Term Profitability: 21.95 
  • Near-Term Workforce: -1.17 
  • Longer-Term Workforce: 14.08 
  • Business Investment: 10.09 
  • Average: 8.78 

Examining The Scores 
One can infer a few things from these scores. It seems like most brokers think they’re in for a rough Q4 2023, with such low scores for near-term profitability.  However, it also looks like they foresee a bit of an upturn during Q4, into the beginning of 2024. The general consensus seems to be that the near future seems rough, but things will become brighter over the next year or so.  Lastly, we can only hope, for the sake of the industry, that these confusing times will pass sooner rather than later. 


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