The Weekly Freight Report for September 24, 2020

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

The Cass Freight Index signals a strong recovery… The HOS rule changes are challenged… Outbound from Laredo produces “unheard of” rates… Trucking companies are set for a prolonged rally… Capacity cuts are the deepest since 2010… and Consumer confidence grows ahead of peak.

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

1. August Cass Freight Index Indicates Strong Freight Recovery

The Cass Transportation Index Report for Aug 2020 is out… the top 3 findings: (1) shipment volumes are back above pre-pandemic levels (up 19% from April lows and the highest since Nov 2019), (2) the west coast “inventory dump” is driving the movement (highest import levels since Aug 2018), and (3) shipping expenditures are at the highest levels since Dec 2019 (spot rates are at or above 2018 highs for all segments)… the outlook for 2020 remains consistent… volumes and rates will climb and capacity will remain thin… get the full report here.


2. Earnings Poised to Surge in 2021

The North American trucking market is hot, hot hot. Increased consumer spending on goods and inventory replenishments are driving up the demand for trucks. After a very tough 2019, trucking company earnings are indeed on the rebound.  And all indications are that truck supply will be suppressed into 2021. Certainly, this is good news for carriers. But for shippers, this means elevated contracted and spot rates and a new set of capacity issues. Get the details.


3. Legal Action Seeks to Block HOS Rule Change

The Teamsters union and 3 other organizations have filed a petition with the U.S. Courts of Appeals to fight the new HOS rules set to go-live in late September. This follows the FMCSA denying the original petition presented by the Teamsters back in July. Although it won’t delay the Sept. 29th start date, shippers and carriers should stay advised. Get the full details here.


4. Demand Spike for Mexico Goods Drives Up Rates

Mexican-produced home goods are a hot commodity for North American consumers staying home right now. And the increased demand is creating a messy situation for border crossings in Laredo.  Rates are nearing “unheard of” levels. Positioning will be difficult the next few months for cross-border shippers moving outbound goods. Get the details here.


5. Large Carriers Cut Capacity by 4.4% Year Over Year 

A peek at the cuts made by large carriers quantifies the current capacity pinch.  Truckload carriers cut capacity by 4.4% in Q2.  This is the deepest reduction in capacity since Q1 2010. And to make matters worse, data shows large carriers aren’t adding to their fleets despite increased demand.  Looks like the capacity situation won’t improve for shippers until sometime in 2021… Get the full details.


6. All Cross-Border Forms and Documents in One Place

From customs paperwork, to carrier requirements, to potential security clearances… cross-border freight is a different type of shipment… and that’s exactly why we put together this guide. The Complete Guide to Cross-border Freight has everything you need to know about shipping between U.S. and Canada. It’s the step-by-step handbook for flawless, stress-free freight. Grab a copy here.


7. Consumer Sentiment Climbs to Six-Month High 

September was a great month for consumer confidence. While still below pre-pandemic levels, new surveys indicate consumer sentiment is picking up. Just 16% of respondents think the economy will worsen in the year ahead. Other data shows the labor market is improving and consumer spending is up for durable goods. All in all… it’s good news for the North American economy. Get the stats 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!