Translogistics Blog

TLI State of Transportation Update

September 22, 2020

Written By: Peter Rio

On-time carrier service levels on average continue to be 15-20% below normal industry levels, demand remains extremely high for trucking, and spot market freight rates are continuing to rise. The current environment continues to be referred to as "unprecedented" by most seasoned supply chain professionals. TLI is seeing more and more carrier service issues creeping up daily across all our client base, no matter which area of the country they are in. The most common issues are late arrivals for pickups (after published close times), delayed shipments in transit (averaging 1-2 day delays), and freight damages. Please be assured, our carrier sales team is continuing to work diligently to improve the issues you are

Some of the most recent notable events in the freight industry were as follows:

Continued Freight Hotspots: Pacific Northwest, Mobile AL, Louisiana & Eastern TX, Dallas TX, California, Denver CO, Eastern PA, Atlanta GA, Chicago IL

Carriers Responding to Increased Demand: Several LTL carriers announced the opening of new terminals last week because of the increased demand and their struggles to keep freight moving. For example, Estes Express announced the opening of their 84 door Hagerstown MD terminal. In addition to expanding network capacity, carriers are also continuing to aggressively hire new drivers and buy additional equipment.

West Coast Wildfires: The widespread wildfires on the West Coast (mainly CA/WA/OR) continue to challenge the trucking companies, as more and more areas are being evacuated. Rates to/from these highly affected areas have spiked. Many LTL carriers have begun issuing embargoes where freight cannot be picked up or delivered involving certain terminals. The Portland area seems to be one of the most affected, with several carriers temporarily ceasing operations last week.

Increased Freight Claims: Especially on the LTL side, carrier freight claims continue to rise as we navigate the current capacity crunch. The main drivers of this issue are newer less experienced employees handling freight, increased pressure to move freight quickly across docks, and the need for trailers to be filled with as much freight as possible. TLI has seen our overall client freight claims double in the current environment. More than ever, it is critical that your shipping teams focus on proper packaging of your goods. This includes limiting overhang of product over the pallets, utilizing do not stack labels, and building pallets with
corner protectors along with extra shrink wrap.

Continued Significant Weather Events: With the most recent Hurricane hitting the
Mobile AL area, the gulf coast region of the US continues to have weekly challenges related to moving freight. Shipments in and out of these Hurricane affected areas are experiencing delays until the carriers can get caught up from being forced to close their facilities during the weather events.

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


Your Team at TLI


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