Market Overview

Extreme Heat Hits Busy Western U.S. Freight Markets

Extreme Heat Hits Busy Western U.S. Freight Markets

I hope all of you had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend! With less than a month until the summer solstice, heat waves, instead of late-season winter storms, are more likely to hit the United States. This is the case as extremely hot conditions will hit parts of California, Nevada, and Arizona this week. Drivers will have to not only take care of themselves and their trucks, but they will have to be extra vigilant in protecting temperature-sensitive loads.

SONAR Critical Events: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 9 a.m. EDT; Excessive heat

Highs Tuesday through Thursday will exceed 100 degrees in many spots across the Sacramento Valley in California, from Redding to Sacramento and Stockton. Meanwhile, temperatures will crack 110 degrees in the Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, as well as the desert communities of southeastern California. In Death Valley, highs could reach 120 degrees. Even the foothills of the Sierra Nevada will be scorching hot, with highs in the 90s. At night, lows will remain very warm, only cooling into the 70s and 80s.

This is very hot for late May, up to 20 degrees above normal, and new records may be set. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued excessive heat warnings for these areas.

The heat wave will also spread toward the coast, so look for highs in the 80s and 90s from the San Francisco Bay area to just north of Los Angeles.

Many drivers are likely heading to these areas to pick up freight. The extreme heat will impact three major markets – Ontario and Stockton California, as well as Phoenix, Arizona – which are all in the top 15 in terms of outbound volume levels. Ontario is second, followed by Stockton at 11th and Phoenix at 15th. Combined, they account for 8.0% of the nation's outbound tender volume market share (OTMS).

SONAR Ticker: OTMS Tree Map

Besides the personal health of all drivers, and the conditions of their trucks, reefer drivers will have to be extra careful protecting temperature-sensitive freight like produce and beverages. Just as with protect-from-freeze protocols during frigid cold snaps, drivers will have to set their trailers to the proper settings to ensure the excessive outside heat doesn't destroy their loads.

Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!


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