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Forecasting Freight Demand

June 10, 2022 Kevin Baxter

Freight Forecast

Forecasting freight demand is an important practice, as it provides shippers and carriers alike a window into what's to come - allowing them to budget funds and resources accordingly. While an inexact science - as no one can perfectly predict the future - the best methods of forecasting freight demand use modeling that takes into account past patterns, current market conditions, potential rising issues that could affect freight movement and more to paint a picture of capacity and cost moving forward. Fortunately the inexact science has become a bit more exact in recent years as data collection and availability is much more prevalent thanks to increased digitization through the use of TMS (transportation management systems) and other technologies. The big thing to remember for both shippers and carriers, is to avoid focusing only on internal data when forecasting freight demand, and consider the bigger picture. How you approach your freight costs and optimize your freight spend may depend on it.

What are the best freight forecasts today?

Beyond knowing that freight demand forecasts are a necessity for planning budgets and shipping volume, it's important to know which freight forecasts to turn to for the right information. A few of the best freight forecasts today include:

ACT Research Freight Rate & Volume Forecast

Coyote Truckload Market Forecast, Spot & Contract Freight Rate Trends 

FreightWaves SONAR

IHS Markit Freight Rate Forecast

While this isn't a freight rate forecast, a datapoint that also factors in to freight costs widely used across the industry, is diesel prices. Find current and projected energy prices through the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook. And one more piece of information worth sharing, while it's not a forecast, is our Intermodal Spot Rate Pricing Trendline Analysis, which offers short and long-term background on intermodal rate trends - data that can help inform future decisions as well.

As you can see above, keeping up with all those forecasting freight demand - or trying to predict it yourself - is not a simple task. But here at InTek, we keep our finger on the pulse of freight markets and use that knowledge to our customers' benefit every day. Drop  us a line and we'll be happy to do the same for you. 

Learn more about freight and logistics - and what we do at InTek - in our Learning Center. Or you can start with a few of the links below: 

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