The Weekly Freight Report for February 4th, 2021

The Top 6 Stories in Freight

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  1. Layered TMS integrations now deliver major advantages to shippers
  2. Freight volume bounces back after multi-week slide… remains high
  3. C.H. accuses shippers of delaying bids and proactively reprices accounts
  4. Southern Cali port congestion worsens by the day   
  5. Transportation advocates push for priority vaccine for workers
  6. Retaining drivers comes down to good pay, bonuses… and showers

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

1. TMS is now the motherboard of shipping tech

Traditionally, the value of a shipper’s TMS was centered around the chance to reduce freight spend and gain access to capacity. But with the advancement of TMS technology, it’s the dawn of a new age for TMS systems. Integrations of TMS technology are now delivering a living platform on which different procurement channels, real-time and predictive freight visibility, and analytics can be layered. And these integrations are giving shippers two huge advantages. 1) direct access to capacity… and 2) real-time benchmarking to compare contract rates and spot rates on a longer-term basis. Yes, new TMS integrations are both cool and efficient… and you should see what’s coming in the near future… get the details here.

2. Tenders break multi-week slide 

After the market took a breath in late January, volumes bounced back last week… Volume is up 21% year over year and it seems outbound tender rejections may have found a floor. Rejections have moved less than 2 percentage points over the last three weeks. While rejections might go down a bit more, shippers shouldn’t count on it. Volume remains seasonally elevated and if demand remains high so will rejections. Seems like that will be the case until capacity issues can be salvaged. Get the details here.

3. C.H. accuses shippers of delaying bids

In an interesting PR move, C.H. Robinson CEO Bob Biesterfeld accuses shippers of delaying bids to avoid rate hikes. And to respond, they plan to proactively “reprice” its top shipper accounts.  While there’s no question peak pricing hit new highs and we’re in an inflationary rate period, at FLS we’ve seen no systematic gamesmanship of bid delays to time the market… get the detail on this hot story here… and if you’re a C.H. customer, feel free to give us a ring… we’d be happy to market check your rates.

4. Southern Cali port congestion worsens by the day 

It’s been a major talking point for months… and for good reason.  All of west coast freight has been dominated and affected by the freight moving in, out and around the ports.  And it’s only getting worse. For the first time since 2004, ships are having to use drift zones where they remain for up to two weeks until anchorages are available. Shippers are feeling hopeful that a seasonal decline will follow the Chinese New Year in the coming weeks… but will it be enough to clear the backlog? Get the details here.

5. Priority vaccine push for transportation workers

We’ve heard throughout the pandemic how transportation workers are essential. And now that the vaccine is here, there’s a push to move workers to the front of the line. Port officials, trade groups and maritime regulators are calling on the White House for a priority COVID-19 vaccine for industry workers. It’s no secret that longshore workers and everyone in transportation have played a key role in keeping the economy going. And as virus numbers continue to rise, it poses a major risk to the nation’s supply chain. We’re all for this… Get more on the developing story here.

6. Pay, bonuses and showers are hot-ticket items for drivers 

Want to solve the driver shortage? Improve the working conditions. So what exactly does that mean? A recent survey identified what drivers are looking for… solid pay, bonus structures and amenities were among the top requests. It’s great feedback for carriers looking to retain talent. And it’s even better news for shippers once these plans get implemented. Take a peek into the survey responses and find out precisely what drivers want… Get the details 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!