Fireside Chat: A Conversation with Crete Carrier's Tim Aschoff
Whether it’s ocean, rail, or trucking, 2023 is the year of falling transportation rates. For trucking companies, this is nothing new. Spot truckload rates have been down year over year since May 2022, but have plunged by double-digits in 2023. Contractual rates also have fallen by double-digits year over year in annual RFPs signed this year. Shippers don’t have as much freight to move as the post-lockdown surge of late 2020 and 2021. Concerns of inflation and a recession have kept nervous shippers keeping inventories as thin as possible until the US consumer is more confident. Motor carriers have been scrambling to keep revenue flowing, despite costs continuing to rise to run their businesses. Transportation and logistics managers have a difficult balancing act: maintaining strong relationships with their core strategic carriers, while also hitting budget targets that might force them to be aggressive in negotiating lower rates. If they don’t hit their transportation budgets, they could lose their jobs, which isn’t good for anyone. In this session, Tim Aschoff, chief operating officer of national truckload provider Crete Carrier, will sit down with Senior Editor Ari Ashe to discuss how to juggle those competing priorities. How can transportation and logistics managers engage in a frank, but important discussion with their motor carrier partners about their cost pressures while not burning bridges? How can shippers be true partners in this market? We’ll also look forward to 2024 and see whether the contract rates signed in mid-2023 will hold for a full 12 months, or whether mini-bids and shorter contracts are the new normal.