Translogistics Blog

No Sign of Transportation Capacity Issues Letting up Anytime soon

April 6, 2021

Written By: Peter Rio

TLI's Weekly State of Transportation Update

Week of April 5, 2021


Last weeks’ end of month & end of quarter push continued through the Friday April 2nd, showing the demand for carrier services is continuing to be extremely strong in major freight markets.


LTL Weekly Summary:

LTL service levels continue to hover around the 50-60%% on-time delivery level, with multiple day missed pickups becoming a much more common occurrence regardless of the carrier. These severely poor service levels continue to cause frustration for shippers around the country. It seems every carrier has pockets within their networks right now where they simply cannot keep up with the shipments being tendered to them.

On a daily basis, the TLI operations team is being told by various carrier terminals statements such as “we are completely full with pickups for today” or “we won’t be able to make it to that area for pickup for a few days due to being backlogged with freight”. These statements seem to be the “new normal” for LTL service, at least for the foreseeable future as things are showing no signs of letting up anytime soon in LTL.



Truckload & Intermodal Weekly Summary:

Many major truckload markets have once again become unbalanced, with available load to truck ratios on the spot market reaching over 300 in several areas last week. Truck capacity for both dry vans and flatbeds has become scarce as shippers all compete for the exact same empty truck, often paying much more than the fair market rate to secure capacity for their load. 

Last minute same day/next day loads are seeing the highest freight rates, as shippers who cannot properly plan in advance are paying astronomical premiums in their freight rates to get product picked up quickly and on its way to destination.



International Weekly Summary:

Port congestion continues to be a significant issue in the world of ocean freight. Median dwell time in the LA ports YTD stands at 8.1 days through March 15, meaning it takes approximately 8.1 days for product to leave the port after it arrives. This extended “stay” at US ports has caused backlogs within the drayage marketplace, which is driving up rates even further and creating fierce competition to outgate shipments. 

Spot ocean rates into US West Coast Ports crossed the $5,000 per 40’ threshold, which is almost 3.5 times what they were in April of last year. Ocean rates have continued to rise sharply as carriers simply do not have capacity to handle all the goods attempting to be booked on their vessels.

Even worse, several major ocean carriers have made it clear that the Suez Canal effect will be felt across the globe, assuring that equipment availability and bookings will become even more challenging over the coming weeks and months.

Air freight rates are maintaining at extremely high levels, as more and more mode shift is occurring to move product quickly via air, versus waiting on available ocean bookings and unpredictable service delays. 

TLI highly suggests that on all shipments you provide our team with the “Must Arrive by Date” (MABD) as to when you need the product delivered, which will help us select the proper routing at the best possible freight rate.

Please contact your Translogistics team at 610-280-3210 for any further questions. 

*article written by Peter Rio, Director of Logistics, Translogistics. Any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!


Translogistics' Industry Chart of the Week

DAT Capacity Chart-April 5


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