Q4 Market Insights

October 15, 2020

It comes as no surprise that 2020 is not a normal year for the commercial truck rental market. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery demand has spiked for e-commerce and essential supplies and slowed down for other businesses’ operations that have dramatically influenced the market.
 
Aside from the pandemic, since COOP’s 2019 Q4 insight guide was last published many things have changed at COOP. At the end of 2019, COOP launched into Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. In all our markets we’ve seen rental demand increase, especially in the past two months. So now more than ever before, there are more Renters on the platform searching for commercial vehicles just like those that you own or lease.
 
Approaching the end of the year, many businesses are becoming fully operational. The busy holiday season historically causes heightened demand for commercial vehicles across the board. As a result, we anticipate Owners will see many more rental requests this year on our commercial truck-sharing platform. Meaning it is an opportune time to activate an idle vehicle or an entire fleet of vehicles to generate revenue for your business.
 
The COOP team combined rental trends from previous years and the unique circumstances of the pandemic to give insights into the rental trends for October through December of 2020. Below you’ll find guidance for your business on how many rentals and how much revenue your vehicles could earn at the end of this year.
 

 

This Year’s Seasonality

This year is unlike any other with the COVID-19 pandemic factor. August and September typically see a brief lull in reservations that picks back up ahead of the holidays; however, this year that typical slow period is far outpaced by the pandemic-caused dip from March to May.
 
The demand is bouncing back as businesses become fully operational. Coming out of the summer, most commercial vehicles made available will see a strong rental demand with COOP. Rental needs in Q4 of 2020, just like Q4 of any other year, will revolve around the holiday season. As the market adapts we anticipate an increased demand for final-mile vehicles, trailers, and refrigerated specs.
 

 

Past Rental Trends

We’re beginning to see a return to normal in seasonal rental trends on the COOP platform. Our Q4 insights, based on our own analysis, shows peak rental length and volume towards the end of the year. On average, each Owner on COOP in 2019 earned $1,443 in revenue when they made a vehicle available during Q4. Now that we’ve been helping Owners rethink their vehicle’s downtime for a couple of years, we’d like to share some of what we’ve learned.
 
The beginning of Q4 is the best time of year to lock-in long term rentals with COOP, as Renters look to secure vehicles for as long as possible in a competitive market. Idle power units like sleeper tractors are a great example of single long-term rental potential. Businesses can secure rentals for much longer than our average rental lengths. Last year, one of our power unit Owners had a 126-day rental. This makes it the perfect time to update your vehicle availability in anticipation of having them rented out for a long period of time.
 

 
From our Top Makes Q4 2018 to Top Makes Q4 2019 lists, one interesting change is the rising popularity of Hino and Utility makes which indicates a trend towards more trailer rentals and over-the-road deliveries. Vehicles with long-distance reliability still chart the most rental days. So Freightliner, known for their power units, continues to top the list. We also anticipate the yearly refrigerated vehicle rental spike in reservations that help get the holiday treats to the family dinner table.
 
All of COOP’s markets are bouncing back after the summer of COVID-19, however, each is unique in its demand trends for commercial vehicle rentals.
 

 

By Market Trends

Georgia is always a great economic indicator, with some of the largest air and rail logistic operations in the country. On average, COOP Owners rent their vehicles for 13 days at a time, which is just a couple days short of what it takes to offset an entire lease payment for a straight truck.
 
Florida is the popular spot to get a trailer on a long-term rental with COOP. When freight needs to be hauled along the lowland I-95 and I-75, durable vehicles are essential to protect the cargo from the rain and storms. In North Florida, trailers are a popular option to get processed goods into or out of the state. And in South Florida, Renters would happily rent your idle trailer in Q4 to freight imports and other specialty goods. In any case the state sees a large share of trailer rentals on the platform.
 
Texas is both COOP’s newest and fastest growing market. As this market is situated toward the center of the country, it’s a busy hub for transportation connecting the East and West. Rental requests are growing at an exponential rate coming out of the summer months. This makes it a prime market for Owners to list vehicles that are able to go out-of-state for longer hauls.
 

What This Means for Your Business

Your business can generate revenue with COOP no matter the market. There’s no reason to let vehicles sit in the lot in Q4. Take the signal to make idle trailers, especially refrigerated ones, available on COOP where they’ll likely be rented quickly. List power units on our platform as a great way to earn long-term revenue. Final-mile vehicles also are predicted to be extremely popular during 2020’s unique Q4 as holiday gifts get delivered in force from online shopping, so make those easy-to-navigate box trucks available too.
 
Renters are gearing up for the holidays. They are prepared to shop for a vehicle at a reasonable price. Adjust your vehicle’s per day rental rate and provide long-term discounts to be competitive with the market and see the most rental requests.
 
One of our Owners who earned the most last year was Hypersonic Trucking, who made high earnings exclusively with a refrigerated 26’ straight truck that was out nearly the entire season. They were able to offset their expenses and earn plenty of additional revenue that helped grow their business.
 
2020 Q4 is a great time to evaluate your fleet and determine if any of your business’ vehicles will sit idle. Make your vehicles available knowing that you always have the final say when they are rented. If you need extra help, check in with one of our Customer Success Managers for guidance on the platform. Our data predicts a high amount of activity at the end of the year across all vehicle specs, so why let your business lose revenue to unnecessary downtime?

Further Reading