Do reefer freight volumes and rates go up and down with economy?

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by texasmorrell, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. texasmorrell

    texasmorrell Medium Load Member

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    Was wondering if any of the experienced reefer independent contractors know if reefer volumes and rates go up and down when the economy goes up and down. I was thinking since reefer freight is food that it should stay pretty steady. Unlike flatbed freight, equipment and building materials would go up and down with the economy but as long as the population is the same then the need for food should remain constant. I realize volumes and rates fluctuate annually but that’s normal. But if there were to be a big economic crash people still have to eat the same amount of food. What do you guys think?
     
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  3. Mike250rs

    Mike250rs Heavy Load Member

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    The food type changes with economy fluctuations.
    When people have more $ they buy better cuts of meat instead of just cheap poultry and ground beef.
    Produce is seasonal and can earn a truck some good $ if they know the freight lanes.

    If the economy tanked, U.S. beef ( actual steaks ) & high end seafood would be the first to get cutback. Cheaper imported stuff would gain more market share ( cheaper rates ) would fill the volume void.

    Then it would be the restaurant food stuffs. That frozen, prepared off site & stored in a warehouse until it is made "fresh" for you at the local feeding troughs. People will stop going to Olive Garden for that $15 plate of meh spaghetti because they need the $ to put gas in their car.
     
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  4. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    I run medicine, it's the most steady of reefer work. And will be for decades to come.

    Food items all you have to do is look at the people buying crap cheap in the store to know how we are doing. And the restrurants as stated by the previous poster.

    If America has no money, the demand tanks. Oh sure we would have to eat but what we eat matters due to cost.
     
  5. zinita17601

    zinita17601 Road Train Member

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    The freight volume may stay the same but the trucking capacity changes dramatically from year to year and market to market which affects the supply and demand balance.
     
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  6. wichris

    wichris Road Train Member

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    Bad times, people eat plain ramen. Normal times, top ramen. Good times, top ramen with beef. Other than beef, the same ingredients in all of them. Stay with basics and the volumes stay pretty constant.
     
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  7. texasmorrell

    texasmorrell Medium Load Member

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    Does Blue Bell and Ben n Jerry’s ship less ice cream in bad times, or more? I’m sure less Wygu steak is shipped but isn’t more ground chuck shipped? I’ve noticed that even when the economy tanks America still stays fat.
     
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  8. wichris

    wichris Road Train Member

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    I can relate to staying fat. LOL. Pretty much in bad times that whole cow turns into cheaper cuts. Kind of hard to just get certain cuts out of a cow. Ice cream is up and down with the seasons.
     
  9. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    The store does not order as many.
     
  10. Hatt91

    Hatt91 Light Load Member

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    I’ve worked for a distributer of fast food chains since ‘05. During the ‘08/‘09 recession our case-counts went way down. These are national concepts but our area is New England and Mid-Atlantic. Definitely felt the economic downturn. We have fresh produce, fresh beef and a bunch of frozen processed food, among other things.
     
  11. magoo68

    magoo68 Road Train Member

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    Rates get good everybody and their dog buys a reefer trailer till rates tank then after a bunch go under rates slowly climb again..
     
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