A friendly truck driver giving a thumbs up

Saia, the trucking champ, is maintaining its stride after Yellow’s exit. Their latest report shows a stellar 9.2% increase in daily freight volume in November, following a similar leap in October. Sure, the comparison with last year played a role, but Saia’s been on the rise after facing declines in 2022.

Their success story this quarter stems from a significant surge in daily shipments, slightly offset by weight per shipment drops. Even with hiccups like the Estes cyberattack impacting October, the freight quickly returned to Estes by month-end.

This quarter’s projections hint at a 5% dip in tonnage, better than the usual seasonal trends. Deutsche Bank’s analyst Amit Mehrotra sees this as a sign that Saia is holding onto its market share gains despite focusing on pricing and profits.

Saia’s resilience isn’t new; last December, their tonnage dipped by 13.2%. But now, they’re keeping a steady grip on market share despite challenges. The recent 7.5% rate hike, announced earlier than planned, signals Saia’s agility in adapting post-Yellow’s exit.

In response to Yellow’s shutdown, Saia upped their game, hiring over 1,000 employees and expanding their terminals. Their third-quarter performance showcased a 6.7% increase in tonnage per day, with shipments rising by 12.2%, although the weight per shipment dropped by 5%.

While Saia stands strong, the broader industrial sector seems sluggish. The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index hasn’t budged, signaling a downturn for the 13th straight month. This slowdown in the industrial arena remains a hurdle for Saia and similar Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) carriers.