The Weekly Freight Report for October 22, 2020

The Top 6 Stories in Freight

The freight market sees a v-shaped recovery… trailer orders soar… the driver shortage creates a barrier to recovery… tender rejections are “down” to 1 in 4… Q4 freight market analysis shows a tough path for shippers… and port operations face “shipageddon”.

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

1. Freight Makes a V-shaped Recovery

The Cass Freight Index for Sept is out and it confirms the current market conditions. Volumes are up… just 1.8% below last year’s level and up 7% month over month. As inventories get restocked and consumer confidence expands, the growth is expected to continue. While this is great news for the economy and carriers, the high volumes are troubling for shippers as truckload volume is responsible for more than half of the freight market… and capacity is already pressed. Get the full report on volumes, expenditures, linehauls, and intermodal trends here.


2. What to Expect for Q4 Freight

We’re here… peak season has arrived. And it certainly doesn’t come without hype. Many have predicted it to be the toughest peak ever as volumes spikes and capacity remains tight… ahead of the rush. This week DAT weighs in with their outlook on peak. Their coverage provides a good look at volumes, rates, and market conditions. Check it out.


3. Carriers Order 52,000 Trailers in September

More market signals relative to growth… Last week we covered record new truck purchases. This week it’s trailer orders. Carriers are making strong moves to increase capacity as U.S. trailer orders cleared 52,000 in September… the third-highest monthly total of all time. While this is good news, additional equipment won’t end the capacity crunch alone. The next step is getting qualified drivers behind the wheel… Get the details.


4. First Tender Rejection Cool Down Since September

Take a breath… Outbound tender rejections are down 5% week over week. And while this offers shippers some temporary relief, overall, capacity is still hard to find. A surprising 1 in 4 loads continue to be rejected… and volume shows no sign of slowing down. As peak gears up in the coming weeks, major disruptions and delays will be difficult for shippers to avoid without reliable partners. Get the full story here.


5. Finding Drivers is Major Barrier

A record number of new trucks and trailers are about to land in carriers yards… but that equipment is useless without drivers. 30K drivers are currently off the road from Clearinghouse violations (and they aren’t trying to come back). And an increasing number of drivers are shifting to last mile to cover the ecommerce boom. Is the only solution increasing driver pay? Strap in shippers… until carriers can find viable solutions, this is going to be a pricy ride. Get the full story here.


6. Major Bottlenecks Going Into Peak

“The whole container-shipper cycle is at absolutely full pulse” according to a major container line executive. Ships are 100% full… the containers are 100% full… and ports are jam-packed.  As the focus turns to keeping the network going from an operational standpoint, there’s a growing concern that companies will not be able to import and deliver enough goods to meet consumer demand during the holiday season. Welcome to “shipageddon”.  Some analysts are predicting shelves will be empty and storerooms will be raided. Get the full story 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!