As I have predicted for a while, freight was very soft in Q4. Shippers have reset inventory levels at very low points and unless they see a large swing in macro economic indicators, I doubt they will increase volumes (Don't pray for a "restocking" initiative).
I believe also shippers are starting to take advantage of improved technology driving actions such as back haul sharing, co loading and other joint initiatives. This, of course, takes sophisticated software. There may be a convergence going on: Sophistication of software and the willingness of shippers to accept a bit more complexity to offset the higher per unit costs. Key metrics to measure will be:
Loaded revenue per mile, revenue per tractor / trailer and the amount of idle equipment.
While everyone is complaining about the driver shortage, no carrier that I have seen has been willing to raise wages. The "windfall" of revenue due to tightened capacity appears to be flowing to company bottom lines and not to the driver.