And just like that… auto shipping unit volume was down over 67%.
Like fall becomes winter, the seasons of despair hit the auto hauling business which is every year in late spring. Dealers build their inventories over the later winter so when the tax refund season happens (the Super Bowl season for auto dealers) they are ready to sell as many cars as possible. As a result the demand for car transport drops in May. You could set your sun dial by the May auto shipping volume drop off because it happens every year, and this year might be a little worse than the past few.
We maintain saved searches on a couple of the major broker sites and on Central Dispatch for routes our drivers like to run. One particular Mid-Atlantic search which usually produces 200-250 unit hits on every click, has been consistently below 100 units over the past 2-3 weeks, and on one click only produced a stunning 66 results.
This is a healthy period for the auto hauling market because it thins the heard of carriers. No surprise by June and into July there will be a glut of trailers and 1-ton pick-ups for sale, on Craig's List as the part-timer, wannabe’s and clueless operators, run out of patience and money.
So how does Matchpoint Auto Transport survive? Through superior dispatch strategies that keep our guys rolling profitably to manage the season. We are reminded of the stock market during these times. When the market is rolling, anyone can pick winners and make money, but when the market gets soft, a little experience and the execution of our proven strategies
Finding loads and booking them into profitable routes in a soft market is a challenge, but it’s what our drivers have learned to expect from Matchpoint Auto Transport. None of our guys will be selling trailers in June and July, unless it’s to buy a bigger one.