The Weekly Freight Report for February 18th, 2021

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  1. Clearinghouse takes 52k drivers off the road and culls 40k more  
  2. Manufacturing pumps freight volume 7% and presses load-to-truck ratio
  3. Must see TV as video shows just how bad West Coast congestion really is 
  4. Extreme pattern as freight volume sits 42% above 2018 and 2019 values
  5. Plot twist as Canadian ELD mandate goes into effect on June 12th
  6. FMCSA extends HOS waiver for COVID relief carriers until May 31st
  7. Time & money… The 7 leading reasons for shipper tender rejections

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

1. Clearinghouse removes 52,000 drivers from pool 

Clearinghouse has “magnified the disparity of new drivers” according to some industry pros. Having been in effect for just over a year, it’s taken 52,000 truckers out of the driver pool during one of the tightest freight markets in history. But FMSCA reps argue Clearinghouse isn’t the direct cause. They say these drivers wouldn’t be eligible to haul freight even before the establishment of the law… but now it’s harder for them to circumvent the system. And the impact may even be deeper than the direct number, analysts believe the clearinghouse has culled another 40,000 drivers because they think they may not pass a drug test… Drivers and capacity continue to be a major issue… Get caught up on the details here .


2. Manufacturing gains adds to van volume

STATE OF FREIGHT: Last week, post volume on DATs network increased 7%… and are now up 121% year over year. Meanwhile, the number of available trucks went essentially unchanged. The current load-to-truck ratio sits at 4.55 – an unusually high value for this time of year. For shippers this is a strong indication that capacity remains tight and they should expect uncontracted freight to come at a premium. Read the full market update here.


3. Video shows just how bad West Coast congestion really is 

We’ve covered it… now you can see it first-hand. Newly released U.S. Coast Guard footage shows just how severe the West Coast port congestion problem has become. Docks are full 24/7… ships are being anchored for an average of 11 days… and offshore ships are holding 190K truckloads of goods. This will continue to have a major impact on freight flows out of California for months.  Talk about must-see TV… Check this out.


4. Freight follows seasonality pattern but at extreme levels 

Freight volumes have been trending sideways since the new year. But a look inside the pattern shows a whole different story for shippers.  While a flat volume trend is typical for winter… 2021 is certainly not seeing the typical Q1 volume lull. Volumes are at extreme levels for this time of year… considering they are 42% above 2018 and 2019 values. What this means for shippers is unusually tight capacity and high rates.  A peek at the volume tender index tells the whole story. Get the details here.


5. What drivers need to know when crossing the border

The Canadian electronic logging device mandate goes into effect June 12th… and it’s a little different than the U.S. mandate. The biggest controversy is that there is still no approved ELD on Canada’s registry for devices. So while the pressure of an upcoming deadline is forcing carriers to prepare for compliance, they have no idea what ELDs to invest in yet. As activists push for a deadline extension, here’s everything carriers need to be ready to experience .


6. FMCSA extends HOS waiver for COVID relief carriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its HOS waiver for truck drivers carrying COVID relief supplies until May 31st… So what’s covered? Livestock, medical supplies, vaccines and groceries are among the items that qualify. But just because you’re hauling food doesn’t necessarily mean the waiver applies to you. Read up on the qualification details here.


7. Top causes of enterprise shipper tender rejections

Tender rejections have soared in the last 6 months.  The freight industry finished December with the highest tender rejection levels in 3 years. The rejection rate was double the ’18 and ’19 values… And it looks like the trend will continue.  Capacity woes are real… volumes keep getting higher… and the tender rejection line remains steady.  For shippers the rejection dilemma is real as rejected freight often gets delayed and then pushed to the spot market, where rates are higher.  It’s both a time and money issue.  That’s why it’s important to understand the factors to avoid to reduce your chance of tender rejection. Get the top 7 tender rejection reasons right here.


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