In the bulk freight industry, winter brings increase truck shipments of feed ingredients as well as road salt for city, county and state municipalities, but BulkLoadsNow.com – a bulk freight-matching site – has seen a drop in feed ingredient and salt shipments due to unseasonably warm weather throughout the Midwest.
Blane Neufeld, owner of Neufeld Harvesting Solutions, a trucking company and freight brokerage from Inman, Kan., agreed that the warmer weather has seemed to lead to a slowdown in the movement of bulk freight.
“Although the end November felt more like April or May in most parts of the country, it didn’t seem as if though the freight followed suit,” he said. “We found that our regular lanes were harder to service, often with return trips hard to come by or even no freight moving at all in either direction, flexibility in our lanes and types of freight were key to keeping our fleet moving. The end of last month served as a good time to get our equipment in the shop to perform annual inspections and catch up on servicing and maintenance.”
Many bulk carriers rely on colder winter conditions to increase the demand for feed ingredients and road salt. Winter months already tend to be slow in terms of grain and fertilizer movement, along with other bulk commodities that go in to road and construction projects.
“The feed business is slower than normal for this time of the year,” said Chad Villwok, a commodity trader with Tallgrass Commodities of St. George, Kansas. “Normally, we are dealing with colder temperatures and snow cover. The warm weather reduces feed intakes and the lack of snow cover has allowed cattle in range situations to get by with less supplementation. We expect that to change one of these days and hopefully it will soon.”
At BulkLoadsNow, carrier members can take advantage of the load history feature which gives a historical listing of all loads/shippers sorted by state and equipment. This gives them the opportunity to contact shippers directly. Carriers can send instant email messages with one click to all shippers in the state they select. This allows more opportunities to find loads that might not be actively posted.