The Weekly Freight Report for November 12, 2020

The Top 7 Stories in Freight

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  1. Tech malfunctions lead to US-CAN border delays
  2. Diesel prices jump right ahead of peak
  3. The great holiday re-write is on for consumers and shippers
  4. Trucking jobs make a strong comeback
  5. Reefers will be tight through December
  6. There’s a gold rush for new carrier entries
  7. And new data reveals the 2020 shipping winners and losers by industry.

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

1. US-CAN border delays after CBSA tech malfunctions

Shipments coming into Canada from the US are facing major delays after the CBSA faced some technical issues. There are very few details on the exact cause of the malfunction, but the agency did inform carriers of “IT issues.” A recent CBSA Twitter update indicates the issue has been resolved and normal operations have been resumed. Drivers should expect processing to pick back up soon. Get the story here.


2. Diesel costs bounce just in time for peak

Diesel fuel price volatility is back. After bottoming out in May, there’s been a slow but steady increase. If oil prices continue to trend it means thinner margins for carriers followed by additional rate hikes. It’s definitely an inflationary data point for shippers to keep their eye on. Get the details here.


3. Shipper-consumer disconnect going into the holidays

Interesting results from a recent Transfix study. Dubbed “The Great Holiday Re-Write” it looks at how 2020 has changed peak expectations for shippers and consumers. Some notable nuggets include… 79% of consumers say spending is less predictable…72% of shippers say they are not confident in their supply chains heading into the holiday season… 55% of consumers plan to shop earlier this year and 87% intend to do more so online… and only 23% of shippers say they have the right technology for success… yep, 2020 will continue to surprise all of us… read up on the full study here.


4. Industry marks strong increase

Transportation continues to show signs of recovery. Since the April slumps, 33,700 jobs have been added to the industry across warehousing, transportation and trucking.  As demand continues to rise, expect to see this trend continue. Get the full employment report here.


5. Volume winners and losers depend on industry

The wild swings in the 2020 freight market have been something to witness for sure. But it turns out all industry volume indices show that overall truckload freight volumes are down year over year. A look inside the numbers show that winners and losers vary by industry. Essential retail shippers with very high truckload volumes in Q2 saw a decrease in Q3, while industrial and non-essential retailers with severe drops in Q2 experienced increased volumes in Q3. And DATs weekly analysis projects this imbalance will continue into 2021. Get the full update here.


6. Reefers prep for unknown Thanksgiving volumes 

46 million. That’s how many turkeys U.S. consumers typically order over the Thanksgiving holiday. But if 2020 has taught us anything- it’s to stop relying on historical numbers. Will smaller gatherings decrease velocity? And with less travel, will location-based demand change? With no way to be sure, here is how reefer fleets prepare for the unknown this year…

7. New carrier authorities skyrocket 

North American freight demand has led to a gold rush of opportunity for carriers. The number of trucking companies granted operating authority since July has skyrocketed and just keeps climbing. But JOC says this doesn’t necessarily mean shippers will be saved from capacity issues any time soon. Get the details.


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