The Weekly Freight Report for November 19, 2020

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  1. Food retailers prep for high holiday volume 
  2. Carriers and shippers are only in “third inning” of this trucking cycle
  3. USMCA win results in 80% of cross-border trade being moved by trucks
  4. Outbound tender volumes and tender rejects continue to soar
  5. New driver poll highlights areas of discontent
  6. Trucking comes out on top as global trade stabilizes
  7. As deadline approaches Clearinghouse 2.0 proves to be simple to navigate

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

1. Food retail sector prepares for high holiday volume 

Experts are calling it now…”Thanksgiving is going to be a bigger shopping event than previous years.” Supermarket sales have been booming since lockdowns began and that isn’t expected to change as the holidays roll in. The real question lies in how families will host gatherings this year. Will they be large- or will more small gatherings actually increase demand? Either way, there is increased pressure on supporting carriers who are already struggling to manage non-peak driven capacity. Get the full story here.


2. Carriers and shippers only in ‘third inning’ of trucking cycle

A leading carrier executive says ‘the industry appears to still be in the early stages of the current trucking cycle.’ Shipper’s lack of confidence in inventory levels followed by growing consumer demand indicates the state of trucking will remain for several quarters. Outbound tender rejections are at 27%, near all-time highs. And carriers are raising driver salaries as a hail mary to bring in some capacity. The expectation around shipper rate increases are “upper single-digit to low double-digits”. Ultimately, the next few months are going to be tough for shippers who didn’t adjust budgets. Get the full details here.


3. USMCA win: 80% of cross-border trade moves by truck  

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello refers to the USMCA as a ‘major upgrade’. But according to cross-border experts, while the new trade agreement is no doubt a win, we won’t see the full benefits for another year or so. The wins will come via nearshoring efforts and they’ll be an industry-by-industry story.  But one thing’s for sure, the increased investment will no doubt be a win for trucking who hauls most of the cross-border freight. Get the scoop here.


4. Outbound tender volumes & tender rejects soar 

The holiday outlook for truckload and parcel demand remains strong. It’s being driven by booming consumer demand for goods, climbing consumer confidence, and a 2-year high ISM manufacturing index reading of 59.3%. All-in-all, the market sentiment remains the same…  shipper requests for trucking capacity will continue to rise (and so will spot rates). Get the details here.


5. New poll shows areas of driver discontent 

A new survey conducted by the CCJ highlights the satisfaction (or lack thereof) drivers have in their field today. It’s not breaking news that carriers are having a hard time finding qualified drivers as demand reaches all-time highs… and 68% of drivers say it’s because fleets don’t pay enough. On top of that, 53% of drivers feel fleets don’t respect them or the job they perform. We’ve said it once and we will say it again… It’s going to take more than money to fix capacity issues. And this study reveals it all. Check it out.


6. Trucking comes out on top as trade stabilizes 

2020 put global trade on the roller coaster ride of its life. Shippers, carriers, and logistics providers had to pivot in the face of wrenching market shifts all year. But trucking fared better than other modes. As the recovery marches forward there’s still a hazy outlook for 2021 as the pandemic disruption shifted the freight landscape with what will surely be long-lasting implications. Get the full story here.

7. An inside look at DOT Clearinghouse portal 

HEADS UP: The clock is ticking for carriers to register. The DOT Clearinghouse deadline is January 5th. Fleets must have drivers register or face fines of $2,500. So what’s the process look like? Turns out, it’s not so bad. Overdrive takes us through a step-by-step look at the portal. Carriers – make sure you are registered before the deadline to avoid penalties. And check out the registration process right here.


Need help moving freight across North America? FLS can help. Our network of 54,000 carriers and 400,000 trucks is a great asset to any shipper… and our service levels are impeccable. Give us a try… Get a quote today!