The Weekly Freight Report for January 7, 2021

The Top 6 Stories in Freight

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  1. The traditional shipping playbook is dead. The market is forever altered.
  2. Optimism is in the air and 2021 trucking events are on the calendar
  3. Drivers look back at the top challenges in a tumultuous year
  4. The 7 things shippers need to know about the Q1 freight market
  5. 2021 outlook is positive, but there’s a big black capacity cloud looming
  6. Driver shortage is leading industry concern going into the new year

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

1. The old shipping playbook is dead

Welcome to 2021. The year of congested ports, a massive capacity pinch, high demand for inventory, double-digit rate hikes, and vaccine disruption. And because of these factors, it’s also the year that the traditional shipper playbook dies.  Today, shippers need more options, more partners, and more agility to react to supply chain changes that come not once or twice a year… but every week. Here’s how shippers are preparing for the unknown in 2021.


2. Mark your calendars for these 2021 events 

Optimism is in the air and the events are on the calendar! The Truckload Carriers Association conference, International Roadcheck, the Truckers Jamboree, and more… make sure your calendar is marked with this year’s trucking events. Get them here.


3. The leading issues in a tumultuous year  

New FMCSA administration, increased violence, lack of parking, highways littered with tractor-trailer accidents, and Clearinghouse. 2020 was undoubtedly one of the most difficult years to navigate for carriers. But it wasn’t all a flop. Trucking kept the economy going at the peak of the pandemic, and for one of the first times in recent history, received public recognition for it. Drivers gained more flexibility through HOS, and as rates climbed, so did pay… Something long overdue. Take a look back at the wild ride from the carrier’s point of view.


4. The 7 things shippers need to know about the Q1 freight market

Despite the global pandemic, the lockdowns and the massive disruption they created, the freight business ended 2020 on a set of highs relative to volume, rates, load-to-truck ratios and rejections. And from a shippers perspective… this isn’t necessarily great news. Here are the 7 things shippers need to know about the Q1 freight market.


5. 2021 outlook is hopefully optimistic

The overall outlook for the new year is positive. But industry pros aren’t ignoring red flags. The biggest issue? Capacity. As the economy comes back, drivers are not. More OTR drivers are finding parcel jobs to be home at night, CLD schools are half-capacity, and Clearinghouse has caused many drivers to leave the industry altogether. And a new administration is sure to mean changes for trucking. Read up on the 2021 predictions here.


6. Lack of drivers is the leading concern for the new year

The American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Industry Issues edition is out… and the consensus is unanimous. The driver shortage is the biggest concern among industry stakeholders. But new recruiting strategies and increased pay offer hope that new drivers will enter the field. Get the details here.


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