Serving Entrepreneurs in Logistics                    

Truckers Expect Softer Holiday Shipping on Waning Retailer Demand

Freight companies are preparing for what executives are calling a muted peak season, as dimming shipping demand from overstocked retailers ripples across U.S. shipping markets.

Several big operators say they are seeing freight demand drop off rather than pick up heading into what is typically their busiest period of the year. The downshift in business is sending rates in trucking’s volatile spot market downward and the weakness is starting to filter into the contract business that makes up the largest share of trucking volumes.

“The fourth quarter is generally the peak of the holiday shipping season,” David Yeager, chief executive of Hub Group Inc., a Chicago-based trucking and rail freight services provider, said in an earnings conference call Thursday.

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