Logistics Update 

TLI State of Transportation - December 28

December 29, 2020

Written By: Peter Rio


 Transportation Providers Continue to be Challenged by Employee Callouts due to COVID


Heading into 2021, the transportation industry continues to face one of its greatest challenges to date; overcoming severe staffing issues as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19.


LTL Weekly Summary:

COVID-19 related staffing issues are the number one challenge facing LTL carriers heading in 2021, as they struggle to keep their drivers in the seats and dockworkers at their facilities processing shipments. Daily employee callouts are being reported as high as 15% of their overall workforce on any given day, which cripples the carriers’ ability to execute their daily plan to pickup and deliver customer shipments.


Truckload Weekly Summary:

Rate increases in the truckload market are expected to continue into 2021, as driver pay is quickly rising and carriers attempt to slow down driver turnover. According to Journal of Commerce, the number of US truck drivers leaving their companies for other motor carriers is again on the rise, and so is driver pay, with many truckload carriers rolling out double-digit percentage pay increases for drivers in December 2020.

Refrigerated shipment rejections and per mile shipping rates continue to rise, as capacity is beginning to be swallowed up by COVID-19 vaccine shipments accompanied by several seasonal produce lanes.  Salt Lake City UT, Ontario CA, Fresno CA, Joliet IL and Allentown PA are the top five largest refrigerated markets by volume in the nation right now.


International Ocean/Air Weekly Summary:

As final industry metrics are reported for the month of November, it becomes more and more apparent just how severe the international capacity crunch is. In a recent article by DAT,  it was reported that according to the Port of Long Beach CA, retailers making their final push for holiday shopping goods and pandemic related supplies including PPE, pushed the ports’ November container volume to a new record of 783,523 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) units of container cargo, which is up 30.6% year over year. In the nearby Port of Los Angeles, volumes are up by a similar amount with October being the busiest month in the Port’s 114-year history.  Port and carrier capacity simply cannot expand fast enough to meet this huge increase in demand.


Other Key Weekly Updates:

Many LTL carriers continue to report severe challenges with capacity in the Southern CA area. The extreme shipper demand accompanied by the increase in international related shipments continues to overwhelm carrier terminals in this area.

Estes Express Lines suspended all shipments inbound to the state of Oregon for transactional/blanket pricing agreements with 3PLs until further notice, to help alleviate backups in the area. Many other national LTL carriers have reported extreme backups of freight heading inbound to their Oregon terminals.


It is critical that you provide your TLI team with as much notice and flexibility as possible on any freight you may need to move in order to allow us to book the best carrier option at the best rate.


Your team at Translogistics will continue providing you with weekly updates throughout the current unprecedented capacity crunch. Please be assured, poor carrier services levels are not specific to your account rather an industry-wide problem we are all facing together right now. This tough market environment is expected to continue well into 2021.

We encourage you to continue to check our Translogistics Blog regularly, as we will be posting industry or carrier updates as we receive them.



Your Team at Translogistics



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