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TIA reports on Q2 3PL and Shipping Trends

TIA reports on Q2 3PL and Shipping Trends


The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) has released its Second Quarter 2019 TIA 3PL Market Report with commentary from TIA’s Chief Economist, Noël Perry with the following key results that relate to Sunset shipping customers:

  • The results show that participants’ total shipments decreased compared to Q2 2018 and gross margin percentage experienced an increase of 250 basis points.
  • Combined total shipments of truckload, intermodal, and LTL decreased 0.4 percent.
    Companies with less than $100M in annual revenue produced improvements in total shipments and gross margin.
  • The report represents more than 1.4 million shipments and over $2.5 billion in total revenue for Q2 2019.

TIA’s Chief Economist, Noël Perry reflects, “Year over year comparisons are negative in both volume and price, reflecting the usual spot market picture after a peak. The comparison of TIA and overall results suggest that TIA members are managing their mix and pricing well. Let’s see how that continues,” adds Perry.

The publication is based on monthly data submissions of TIA members who provide current operating data, and answer questions on business conditions affecting the 3PL industry. These data submissions are then used by TIA to create a comprehensive report on the trends and practices of the 3PL industry.

Sunset Says with Connie Morgan, Director of Truckload Pricing & Procurement:

Decreases in 2019 volume for 3PL providers was predicted and has direct correlation to the market shifts with asset (truck) providers in 2018.  Last year gave way to an industry peak that drove premium rate spikes and capacity voids. The asset sector capitalized on building fleets and expanding driver pools, using market driven capital to fund their growth and fill the gaps.  

Entering into 2019, the expansion of asset opportunities changed the balance of freight for 3PL’s causing decreased freight opportunities.  Lower than prior year shipping volumes, coupled with an over-saturation of assets has stifled carrier growth and created a soft market favoring shippers. 

The market can change quickly and is sensitive to uncontrollable factors such as catastrophic weather events, new carrier regulations, political elections and the economy, all of these factors will likely come into play the rest of 2019 and into 2020.   Sunset will continue monitoring these trends and keep our customers posted of any major swings and delays as they occur.