According to CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday, the freight industry’s pandemic boom could finally be winding down. “We caught a real break today with a much lower-than-expected consumer price index number, and a huge part of that came down to how much it costs to get goods to the consumer,” he said. “Why would the Fed need to keep tightening ever harder if the root cause of inflation, moving stuff from place to place, is finally going in the right direction?” he added.
On Thursday, stocks experienced their biggest rally since 2020 after October’s consumer price index data came in lighter than expected, raising hopes of a peak in inflation. “When you look at all the positives that went … into today’s CPI reading, you keep coming back knowing it was just hard to move goods around,” which led to inflated consumer prices, Cramer said. FreightWaves reported Wednesday that logistics giant C.H. Robinson is laying off employees to cut costs and adjust for macroeconomic headwinds. This move comes after CEO Bob Biesterfeld said in the company’s post-earnings conference call on Nov. 2 that the company “got ahead of ourselves in terms of headcount.” He added that the company is seeing a slowdown in demand for freight along with weakness in retail and housing and expects freight markets to continue coming down from pandemic highs. Cramer has predicted that inflation will continue to decline as labor and equipment costs for the freight industry decline. “They needed more trucks, more drivers, more fuel, so the cost of everything went up, and they had to pass it on,” Cramer explained. “C.H. Robinson can’t charge as much when these costs go down. That’s where the big deflation gain really kicks in,” he added.