As we close out the second full week of “lockdown” for many Americans, we are humbled by the unwavering commitment of truck drivers to deliver essential products to store shelves, hospitals, and other critical locations. Their heroic dedication makes us proud to work in logistics. Please join us in thanking truck drivers for their selfless and crucially important efforts. They truly are essential to the health of our nation.
We also wish to thank the many shippers throughout the U.S. who have stepped up and shown admirable flexibility, tenacity, and compassion as they work around the clock to produce and provide vital supplies to those in need. Your contributions to easing the impact of this crisis are a testament to the ingenuity of American business.
The majority of the GlobalTranz team has seamlessly transitioned to working from home and is ready to serve the needs of shippers across North America. As a result of our diligent continuity planning and implementation, GlobalTranz is fully operational and remains committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to our customers and doing our part to keep freight moving.
Here is the latest information from the GlobalTranz team, our customer and carrier networks, and industry sources:
North America Market Update
- LTL Carriers continue to be fully operational both over the road and in back-office support. It is essential that shippers and providers confirm that consignees are open and available to accept freight. If a shipment cannot be delivered, standard storage, redelivery, or truck ordered not used fees will apply.
- With the amount of businesses closing at this time, carriers are concerned that storage capacity could become an issue. If that occurs, freight will be returned to the shipper, not stored.
- Most LTL carriers have implemented the following restrictions to limit exposure to COVID-19:
- No inside deliveries, shipments will be left at the door
- No signature required and driver will notate any exceptions
- Shipments in transit to closed consignees will be subject to rules tariff charge
- This week has been characterized by a shift in market dynamics. Whereas the week began with strong TL volumes across the board, by mid-week a divide emerged within the marketplace, separating shippers that produce “essential” and “non-essential” goods.
- As trucks rush to move essential goods, capacity is displaced, causing market imbalances. As a result, some carriers are saturated with shipments while others struggle to find loads.
- TL shipments to grocery and discount stores are soaring, up more than 50% last week from the same week last year as retailers rush to restock depleted shelves.
- Spot market rates have risen 12% since March 1.
- We continue to monitor daily TL tender volumes and have seen the increased tender volumes from last week stabilize. We are seeing small downward trends in outbound tenders during the week with increased volumes in advance of the weekend.
- Loading/Unloading issues remain at some high-volume warehouses. Many warehouses are implementing new check-in procedures as part of their COVID-19 response which leads to longer wait times.
- The refrigerated truckload market is picking up steam. Midwestern states are busy with meat replenishment and produce regions are starting to show signs of early activity following the mild winter.
- Many drivers are unable to provide the medical certificates to their State Driver Licensing Agencies which are required for license renewal. In order to ensure an adequate supply of drivers, the FMCSA issued a CDL waiver which grants renewal extensions to CDL holders, CLP holders and non-CDL drivers. Please refer to the waiver for full details.
- The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has delayed this year’s road check originally scheduled for May 5-7, 2020. The timing of the road check will be determined at a later date.
- Some exports from Mexico, particularly retail goods, have peaked.
- Automotive exports have decreased dramatically as the industry has essentially been shut down for the past five days.
- The U.S./Canadian border has been closed to non-essential travel but remains open for cargo shipments.
- Currently, rail and dray capacity are plentiful.
- There has been a decrease in intermodal volumes due to the lack of imports out of Southern California. As a result, 40’ containers are still in short supply.
- There have been no significant changes to rates.
- The Houston Ship Channel and the 200-plus private terminals and eight public terminals that comprise the greater Port of Houston are operational and open for business after a brief closure of the Barbours Cut and Bayport Container terminals due to a reported case of COVID-19.
- All Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, and PortMiami terminals are open and operational.
- The GlobalTranz cross-functional coronavirus Task Force is meeting daily and in continuous contact with all employees and office locations to ensure seamless continuity in our business operations.
- In the last two weeks, the majority of our staff have seamlessly transitioned to working from home. They are supported by our technology and processes, which ensure the same agility and data security as though working in a GlobalTranz office location.
- We expect continued higher truckload volumes as consumer demand for food, beverages, and home goods remain high.
- Going forward, due to the market imbalances noted above, we anticipate that capacity shortages will become more localized, rather than generalized, as we have seen over the last two weeks.
- We are continuing to monitor market conditions as consumer demands are met, west coast port activity resumes and the upcoming produce season commences.
- We expect intermodal numbers to soften as the market adjusts to the COVID-19 response and more businesses and industries are impacted.
Recommendations for Shippers:
- Prioritize: As COVID-19 continues to unfold, it is critical to prioritize your shipments and to communicate that prioritization to your providers. This helps them meet your needs and get you the best options/solutions.
- Communicate: In addition to communicating priority loads, let your provider know what is going on within your organization. As your business’ response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, engage your provider in a discussion about your unique challenges, opportunities, and goals.
- Plan: While it may seem premature for some, now is the time to begin revising your plans for the rest of 2020. The GlobalTranz Solutions team is prepared to assist you in supply chain planning and solution design.
We deeply appreciate the trust that our shipper customers have placed in GlobalTranz, and we remain focused on securing capacity, maintaining costs, and delivering solutions.
This continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. For updates and more information, please contact your GlobalTranz representative or contact us at 866-275-1407 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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