When times get tough, here’s what’s really important
Anthony Smith and Zach Strickland made their predictions for the state of freight in the first 2021 episode of Freightonomics, and in this new episode they break down what matters most to influence those predictions.
2021 started off right where 2020 ended, with tight capacity and high rates. Consumer spending took a slight dip from November to December, but stayed strong into the start of January.
Smith says the housing market is also still distinctly tight, and lots of people keep using the time at home to pursue home improvement projects.
Strickland brings up the success of the holiday shipping season, and Smith says the COVID-19 crisis could have exposed weaknesses in the supply chain that led to a better buying and receiving experience for consumers.
Smith says one of the most important indicators of the health of the economy has been employment numbers. There is a huge number of people wanting to work, but there has also been a lot of permanent job loss due to people not being able to adjust during times of uncertainty.
Smith and Strickland discuss how most of the job losses have been in the service and hospitality industries and neither group has recovered at all. However, the “grassroots” industries like transportation, warehousing and distribution have seen good recovery.
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