OPEC+ panel shifts date of next meeting to August 19 – sources
According to Reuters, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) will hold its next virtual meeting on August 19. The organization along with its allies, has been cutting output since May to tackle the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The cut was eased on August 1 to around 7.7 million barrels per day from a reduction of 9.7 million barrels per day previously.
Demand for Freight Drives Up Spot Market Rates
According to Transtopics, trucking has seen a turnaround bolstered by spot market rates and increased demand. Data from Truckstop.com—an online freight-matching marketplace that tracks industry trends— reported that during the weekend of August 7, demand for loads increased 5.4 percent to 80.05 index points from 70.96. As for spot rates, there was an increase of 1.6 percent to $2.32 from $2.28.
The weekly report showed the dry van segment had the most significant year-over-year spot rate increase at 35 percent for the week ended August 7. The refrigerated segment followed at 27percent, while the flatbed segment was up 12 percent.
Trucking companies have had to adapt to demand shifting considerably in favor of retail since more people have been staying in instead of going out to restaurants and bars. Jim Nicholson, vice president of carrier sales and operations at Loadsmart, said there is reason to believe there will be prolonged demand through the rest of the year with the strength in imports leading into the holiday retail season.
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OPEC+ production discipline slipped in July, as Gulf members led by Saudi Arabia ended their voluntary extra output cuts, while some countries that have struggled to adhere to their quotas continued to pump above their caps.
High coronavirus case numbers in several major economies will blunt the recovery of an oil market already beleaguered by low demand, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.
The U.S. military on Wednesday said Iranian forces briefly boarded a Liberian-flagged oil near the Strait of Hormuz, heightening tensions in the world’s busiest oil waterway.
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U.S. Class 8 retail sales in July cleared 14,000 to reach the highest total since March, WardsAuto.com reported as the freight economy grew stronger.
Spot container freight rates are surging to new 2020 highs as carriers in the eastbound trans-Pacific begin to implement an Aug. 15 general rate increase (GRI), the fourth GRI since June 1. Spot rates from Asia to the West Coast are the highest they’ve been since at least 2010, while spot rates to the East Coast are the highest they’ve been since November 2018.
Revenue in the dedicated contract carriage market was down 3% in the first half of 2020, compared to the first half of 2019, according to a report by Armstrong & Associates. Although shipment volumes were down in the segment, long-term contracts signed before the pandemic helped to lessen impact from the coronavirus.
Like its other Class I counterparts, the COVID-19 pandemic hit BNSF’s bottom line in the second quarter, with revenue falling 22 percent amid an 18 percent drop in rail volumes.
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U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in July, with a measure of underlying inflation increasing by the most in 29-1/2 years amid broad gains in the costs of goods and services.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance last week fell below 1 million for the first time since March 21 in a sign that the labor market is continuing its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
After several weeks of negotiations, lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have largely returned to their home states for the August recess. It’s largely expected that there will be no movement towards a next stimulus package until they return in September.