Need Help
close button

How can we help?

Select One:

The 2024 Freight Market at a Glance

04 Mar 2024
Category: Market insights
Author: David Vidri

The freight market appears to be finding some balance after nearly 24 months of deflationary conditions. As with any market shift, that means change is on the horizon for shippers and carriers, so now is the time to prepare your business for what’s to come in 2024 and beyond. 

To help you stay ahead of the curve, Arrive’s Market Intelligence team recently released its 2024 Truckload Freight Rates Forecast, which dives deep into rates, demand, and other key trends that will shape the market this year. Read on to get the key takeaways, and check out the full forecast for more expert analysis and insights

Rates Are Ready to Move 

The 2024 rate environment will be defined by flat to slow demand growth and continued capacity exits, and industry experts are forecasting a fairly broad range of rate outcomes. Transportation Insights and several others project upwards of 30%-40% growth, whereas ACT Research expects around 20% and FTR just over 10%. 

Though anything is possible in today’s volatile freight market, we believe a more moderate trajectory is the most likely scenario, with the maximum rate growth reaching around +14% by the end of Q4 2024. 

We expect the spot rate floor to increase throughout the year, resetting higher as the market moves through periods of seasonal volatility. Contract rates will continue to normalize but slower than in 2023 and should ultimately find a floor sometime in Q2 or Q3. 

As the spot-contract gap closes, the market will become more vulnerable to disruption. However, any significant and sustained upending will likely require a black swan event or other such catalyst, so precisely when the next major inflationary shift will occur is anybody’s guess. 

Key Demand Drivers

Several factors will drive demand in 2024, including goods consumption levels, inventory cycle resets, industrial recovery, infrastructure development, and nearshoring. Increased freight demand will almost certainly follow if growth occurs in all or even some of these areas. For example, inventory and industrial production cycles are showing signs of bottoming out, which should have a flat to positive impact on truckload demand.

On the consumer side, persistent inflation and elevated interest rates were major market headwinds in 2023. As long as inflation continues to slow and the job market remains healthy in 2024, we expect consumer optimism to drive strong spending and, in turn, freight demand. 

The Capacity Correction Continues

Of course, diminishing supply must accompany increasing demand for the market to see a sustained inflationary cycle.

The current capacity correction has been underway for some time but is unfolding much slower than in previous cycles. However, with spot rates still below the public carrier break-even cost per mile, the current rate environment is unsustainable, and carriers will continue to close up shop. 

Today, the number of drivers on the road is already down 18% from the peak, indicating that the market is moving toward equilibrium and thus becoming more vulnerable to disruption. That vulnerability is being exacerbated by shippers locking in long-term contract pricing while rates are low, which will likely impact their routing guide compliance and drive up spot market rates if demand increases as expected later in the year. 

Finally, it’s worth noting that driver capacity remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that the industry is not just returning to its former state but evolving to meet new demands and challenges.

Plan Today, Win Tomorrow

There is still a fair amount of uncertainty around how 2024 will unfold, so staying on top of evolving trends will be critical. Remember to read the 2024 Truckload Freight Rates Forecast for more expert analysis and insights on the road ahead, and keep up with the latest news by getting the Arrive Market Update delivered directly to your inbox every month.

Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

Carrier Scorecard Feedback

Get Access to the Shipper Portal

Current Customers

Already shipping with Arrive?

Connect with your representative to get access to your ARRIVEnow Shipper Portal. Can’t connect with your rep? Use this form to reach out.

New Customers

Not shipping with Arrive yet?

If you’re not an Arrive customer, please join our network to access the portal.

Use of Cookies

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze site traffic. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge and consent to our use of cookies as detailed in our privacy policy.

Fraud Prevention

Freight fraud continues to impact our industry. We encourage shippers and carriers to reach out to Arrive immediately if there is ever a shipment in question that may be subject to fraud. Arrive Logistics registered email domain is Our 24/7 phone number is 888-861-0650 and our leadership team can also be reached at

Arrive Carrier Requirements

Please have the following info ready to complete registration

  • MC, MX, DOT, or state reg #
  • Tax ID & W9 info
  • Cert of Insurance: $100k cargo, $1M Auto, & $1M commercial general liability coverage
  • Active Common or Contract Authority (365+ days)
  • Safety Rating of at least Satisfactory (or None)

Subscribe to receive freight market updates​

"*" indicates required fields

Quick Apply

"*" indicates required fields

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Download this Report

"*" indicates required fields

Add me to the monthly distribution