The Weekly Freight Report for September 3, 2020

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

The Driver Safety Blitz is on… Tender rejection rates continue to climb… Spot rates reach an inflection point… HOS tests 3-hour pause… the demise of imports was greatly exaggerated… the cross-border freight numbers are freakishly large… and 3 things smart shippers are doing to prepare for a brutal peak season.

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

1. This Year’s Blitz to Focus on Driver Requirements

Wild stat… more than 80% of 2019 inspection blitz violations were out of service offenses. This year’s annual inspection blitz is set for September 9-11th and both shippers and carriers should prepare. Carriers… you are on notice that driver requirements are front and center. This means that you should ensure your drivers know how to do a data transfer. Shippers… some drivers will sit the week out to avoid blitz altogether. Get ready for an additional capacity pinch and increased service issues as there will be fewer trucks available… check out the blitz details here.


2. Tender Rejections Up 50% Year Over Year

Let us be clear… there is no normal in 2020… just when you thought rejections couldn’t get any higher… Outbound tender rejections are now 50% above 2019 and 58% above 2018.  By FreightWaves measure its an all-time high.  Seems like shippers are looking for capacity under every rock. And analysts, well they are predicting this is likely to carry over into 2021. Shippers… be advised… Adjusting your transportation budgets will be vital to get through the next few months. Get the full story here.


3. Trucking Leads in Moving North American Freight

New DOT reports show that cross-border truckload volumes are poppin’. Trucks moved over $56 billion worth of product in June… making up nearly 70% of all North American freight movement. As peak season approaches and economies continue to reopen, this number is expected to continue trending upward. Get the details here.

4. FMCSA Plans to Test 3-Hour Clock Stop

Finally… the FMCSA has proposed a new project that would allow drivers to stop the HOS clock for up to 3 hours and work beyond the 14-hour work limit. For carriers… this long overdue “project” means more control over driver’s work schedules. For shippers… this would mean faster, more optimized deliveries (which directly translates to cost savings). If the program proves to be a success… this will be a win for everyone. Check out the full details here.

5. Grim Future Ahead for Shippers Without Contracted Rates

2020’s volatile trucking market plows forward. As spot rates, volumes and tender rejections continue to climb, numbers show that carriers are honoring their contracted freight… but not providing additional surge capacity. Going into peak, the spot market is going to be where all the carriers live. And finding a truck will be torture for shippers without contracts. One peek at the DAT Dry Van chart tells the whole story.  Get the details here.


6. Peak Season is Upon Us… And It’s Going to Be Brutal for Shippers

Peak season will be brutal this year. That’s right, in under 90 days we’re going to be in the tightest freight market since 2017. And let’s remember, 2017 was a year that ended with a load to truck ratio of 9.0 and left scars on a lot of financial statements. It’s safe to say it was a disastrous time for logistics planners. The best plan for 2020 is to get ahead of the chaos. Here are 3 things smart shippers are doing right now to prepare.


7. U.S. Imports From China Are On the Rise

Talk about fake news… Remember those early January talks about Chinese manufacturers poised to collapse due to lack of oversea buyers? Yeah… didn’t happen. In fact, Chinese imports are up… big time. And U.S. demand for Chinese exports has escalated so much that it could soon become a capacity issue in September. Check out what’s really happening 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!