The Weekly Freight Report for August 13, 2020

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

A strike shuts down the Montreal port… all bets on a summer slump are called off… a new bridge will speed up cross-border shipping… and carriers and shippers prepare for a Sept inspection blitz.

The hottest stories in freight can be found here, in the Weekly Freight Report:

1. Longshore Worker Strike Shuts Down Montreal Port

Canada’s second largest port shut down today as longshore workers went on strike. The union spokesperson says the conflict is largely over a work-life balance… and it will prolong for an indefinite period. Shippers who heavily utilized Montreal’s port should make adjustments until further notice. Read up on the strike here.


2. Bets For Summer Slump Officially Called Off

The volume hike continues. Now 35% year over year and 38% above 2018 value, shippers should prepare for premium rates for the remainder of the year. Carriers have got all the pricing power… and it’s expected to stay this way until further notice. Get the details here.


3. New Laredo Rail Cross-Border Bridge Coming Soon

An application to construct a second rail bridge between Laredo, TX and Mexico has been approved. For shippers currently relying on the current rail bridge, this means faster cross-border rail shipments. The new bridge is expected to be available within the next three years. Check it out here.

4. Wait Times Fall as Capacity Tightens

2020 is a year for messing up historical freight data… and a recent detention stat is no different. While wait times historically spike with tight capacity… that hasn’t been the case this year. There’s actually been an inverse relationship between wait times and capacity… now that capacity is at its tightest since 2018, wait times have dropped by nearly an hour.  What’s driving the increased efficiency? Find out here.

5. Small Boost in U.S. Trucking Employment

New job reports indicate that 2,000 new trucking jobs were added to the market in July. The same report also indicates that July employment numbers were less than half of those reported for June and May.. Since April, the U.S. trucking market has recovered 46% of the  jobs it lost. So while trucking is hiring… getting people back to work is proving to be a slow recovery. Get the full story here.


6. Suppliers Face a Liquidity Crisis

Stores are physically opening back up… and that’s great news for retailers and vendors alike. But suppliers aren’t off the hook as store closures created a major liquidity crisis. For now, vendors are trying to work through potential credit and finance shortfalls. And this situation could get messy for retailers come the holiday season… get the full story here.


7. Preparing for the Inspection Blitz

The largest inspection blitz of the year has been rescheduled for September 9th-11th. This year the 72 hour enforcement spree will focus on a laundry list of items that include the driver behind the wheel and the safety of the vehicle itself. Keep in mind, last year’s blitz resulted in over 200,000 violations. Truckers should prepare their vehicles and records… and shippers should remember that capacity usually pinches during this week. Better to be prepared than sorry. Check out the details and the full inspection list here.


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