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by Peyton Jack
Peyton Jack

4 min read

Breakthrough Adds Individual Spot And Contract Linehaul Rate Forecasts For Dry Van And Temperature-Controlled Truckload Freight

February 28, 2024

Peyton Jack
by Peyton Jack


With the release of the January 2024 Freight Advisor, our Breakthrough Advisor Team was excited to release for the first-time individual spot and contract linehaul rate forecasts for dry van and temperature-controlled truckload freight. In addition to our predictions for freight demand, capacity, and intermodal linehaul rates, these new forecasts will be updated monthly to ensure our clients stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving freight market landscape.

We keep our clients at the center of everything we do. Our journey towards innovation often begins with feedback from our shipper community, shaping new product developments and updates to Advisor publications. This trend continues with our latest forecasts. In the past 18 months, shippers have shown keen interest in grasping the interplay between spot and contract rates. Their inquiries have evolved from asking "Where is the rate floor?" to pondering "Have we reached the bottom, and when will the market shift?" As a leading innovator in this space, we are well-equipped to provide expert insight and analysis on these topics. Our data-driven approach and deep understanding of the market allow us to help shippers navigate through market conditions.

What’s included in your linehaul rate forecast model?

Our proprietary spot and contract linehaul rate forecasts employ a variety of time-series modeling techniques while incorporating the Advisor team’s market expertise and real-time insights from aggregated shipper data. The models consider the impact of ever-changing freight demand, capacity behavior from carriers, and seasonal forces on the equilibrium price for transportation services in North America. These real-time models are produced from a partnership between our Applied Knowledge and Data Science teams, who continue to research and incorporate leading indicators into our forecasting models to predict future moves in the freight market.

How accurate is your linehaul rate forecast model?

Our linehaul rate forecasts are designed to provide actionable insights for transportation leaders to make their networks resilient and cost-effective in the short- and long-term. By providing continual updates on the accuracy of our forecasts, we provide transparency and demonstrate our commitment to make them user-friendly. Forecasts will never be 100% accurate, whether those predictions are made about freight rates, weather conditions, or Super Bowl halftime shows. However, while we wait for the invention of time-travel or a crystal ball, our Advisor team will continue to provide monthly updates on forecast accuracy for transportation leaders to incorporate a percentage of historical forecast error into their energy and freight budgeting decisions.

Our forecast accuracy methodology examines the mean absolute percentage error, or the comparison of forecast to market reality, of our last 12 forecasts across different time horizons. Given the February Freight Advisor publication only includes two months of historical data for our new spot and contract rate forecasts, we will not be publishing our forecast accuracy yet. However, we will continue to publish the accuracy of our overall truckload dry van and refrigerated linehaul rate forecasts, which represents a blend of spot and contract rates.

Providing Insight Behind the Numbers

Our shippers not only have access to our forecasts, but they also have access to the monthly publication and webinar for a comprehensive analysis of the freight market and our Breakthrough Advisor Team for questions. If a client is interested in a more in-depth conversation, they can contact their client account manager to organize a call with the Advisor team.

Enhanced Linehaul Rate Forecast Model Transparency and Future Enhancements

The release of our individual spot and contract linehaul rate forecasts for dry van and temperature-controlled truckload freight will provide greater transparency for our clients. This forecast will continue to represent a blended rate including contract and spot rates at a ratio representative of the average Breakthrough shipper.

Moving forward, the Advisor team will continue to look for ways to enhance our publications and webinars with additional modes and temperature classes to provide additional value to our shippers. If there is a trending topic, ongoing disruption, or additional benchmark you would like to see in the Freight Advisor, or any of our Advisor publications, please contact your client account manager or contact us through our website form.

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