State of Transportation Update

Logistics Update

September 10, 2020

Written By: Peter Rio

After a sharp decline in freight volumes only a few months ago, we continue to experience one of the most drastic turnarounds ever to hit the freight markets. Rates continue to rise as carriers work to find balance within their networks while attempting to maintain service levels for their customers. For dry van truckload freight, the DAT reported average linehaul rate for August was the highest ever reported on record, although all-in rates in June 2018 were higher due to higher fuel surcharges.

Some of the most recent notable events were as follows:

E-Commerce Update: There are talks that Amazon is going to reschedule their Prime Day to a two-day event the first week of October, followed by Black Friday in late November, followed by cyber Monday shortly after. There is also talk that Walmart is soon rolling out a two-day online delivery product called Walmart Plus to compete with Amazon Prime. LTL carriers continue to be challenged on how to embrace and properly service these direct to customer deliveries that require residential deliveries and liftgates. As a result of large spikes in demand, UPS Parcel announced they are going to charge their highest holiday surcharges ever and FedEx Parcel will most likely follow their lead.

Hurricane Laura Continued Impact: The truckload environment remains extremely tight in Louisiana and Eastern Texas this week, as lane imbalances and rate spikes will remain throughout the next few weeks. Both inbound and outbound freight in these markets is being greatly affected.

September Business Level Projections: TLI is hearing from several LTL carriers that they expect their service levels to begin improving in September, since staffing will be back to more normal levels as summer vacation seasons comes to an end. The carriers are also beginning to see a positive impact because of some of the drastic changes they have made to their networks and pricing programs over the past few months. On-time service levels from the national LTL carriers on longer haul shipments continue to be much worse than those of regional next-day LTL carriers.

Clear Lane Freight: Limiting the size of shipments to 6 normal pallets fitting into 10' or less and weighing 10,000 lbs or less to free up capacity in their networks

Estes Express Lines: Last weeks' Monday thru Wednesday were the largest shipping volume days in the company's history. In conjunction with record levels of shipment volumes, they announced a general rate increase to their general blanket pricing programs effective 9-21-20

Ward Trucking: Continuing their embargo of any LTL shipment over 6 skids or
12,000 lbs

We will continue to provide you with weekly updates on the carrier networks along with any noteworthy announcements.

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