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Is the Peak Season Freight Surge at Risk?

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Blog Post

Is the typical peak season freight surge at risk? Not necessarily, says leading transport analyst Lee Klaskow, Senior Freight and Transportation Logistics Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

“We are in a freight recession right now, but we could have freight growth and still be in a technical economic recession – that’s not unheard of,” he told the latest episode of The Freight Buyers’ Club podcast, which is sponsored in part by Dimerco Express Group.

Klaskow elaborates in this short clip:

Catch Klaskow’s full podcast interview with Freight Buyer’s Club host Mike King here.

Klaskow rated the likelihood of a US recession “at around 65%.” However, recession and a flat peak season freight cycle musn’t necessarily go hand in hand – for a couple of reasons:

  • Retailers have been aggressively re-stocking in recent months after a COVID-era buying spree
  • The inventory needed for the holiday selling season is not necessarily the same as what’s current in stock.

“Even if we do go into a recession, I don’t necessarily think it means doom and gloom,” says Kraskow. “I think we’re going to be in a technical recession (in the U.S.) sometime over the next 18 months, but I don’t necessarily think that it’s going to be a recession that’s going to be felt by all people all the time,” he added.

The container shipping peak season traditionally takes place in the third quarter as retailers stock up ahead of the end-of-year holiday season. However, the normal ebb and flow of shipping demand was hugely disrupted during the chaos of the pandemic years.

Klaskow says the 2023 peak season freight volumes should not be judged against the ridiculous volume and freight rate highs recorded during COVID lockdowns, as consumer spending switched from services to products.

“I think we’re going to have a more normal peak season freight increase,” he said. “And when I say peak season, I’m not saying like a triangle angle kind of demand spike. I’m talking more of a hump kind of seasonal increase in demand; and then it slowly comes back down.”


Managing Peak Season Freight Requirements

Need help navigating your upcoming peak season freight requirements, particularly for shipping from Asia to the U.S.? Contact the global freight specialists at Dimerco, where we connect Asia with the world.