2023 has delivered some challenges to the U.S. economy and the trucking industry. Crete Carrier Corporation President and COO Tim Aschoff discussed what we’ve seen so far, and what may lie ahead, during a recent interview on Sirius XM’s Dave Nemo Show. Aschoff pointed out that the year started out a bit stronger than expected. “It’s hard to believe this, but if you remember, January was actually decent. January is usually one of the slower months, but it was a little bit busier than December overall,” said Aschoff.
But Aschoff says February thru April slowed down, bucking the normal cycle. “Usually that’s when it picks up after having been through the holidays and a January dip.” He says he started hearing a new term, “destocking”, to describe how retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers were trying to reduce excess inventory. That meant less freight moving through the supply chain.
“There was such a shortage of supply of a lot of things during Covid, the manufacturers really ramped up production,” said Aschoff. But that ultimately led to an oversupply of some products. “That then transferred over to the retail outlets saying, well, people aren’t buying as much so we’re just going to stop ordering for a while. Then we had this destocking that needed to take place in that wholesale world, the manufacturing world. Hopefully we’re maybe seeing the end of that.”
Aschoff says the next few weeks will be telling. “Typically (it’s) a time where we finish getting the back-to-school stuff out there. Then the cycle hits. It’s Halloween time. It’s Thanksgiving time and it’s Christmas time. So, this would be normally the time of year we would see an uptick.”
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