Disruption has been the name of the game for more than a year as carriers continue to see overarching demands for their services increase. No carrier or mode has been excluded from the increased demand of e-commerce and a customer base that’s anxious for a return to normalcy, including the LTL transportation sector. For shippers, understanding what’s impacting the LTL market and how it affects traditional approaches to LTL transportation management is critical to maintaining supply chain efficiency.
State of the LTL Market
As reported by the Journal of Commerce, “the past 13 months of sustained rising freight demand and widespread shortage of labor up-and-down supply chains has brought the LTL trucking sector, and the shippers that depend on it to move palletized shipments, to a turning point.”
While COVID-19 had a significant impact on the current state of the LTL market, capacity was already constrained prior to the pandemic as carriers right-sized their fleets and were challenged with the ongoing driver shortage. The tightening market is a confluence of multiple factors:
- Increased e-commerce in both business-to-business and direct-to-consumer fulfillment.
- Fewer labor resources are available to meet the rising demand in both the warehouse and in transit.
- Capacity constraints within truckload and parcel have led to spillover within the LTL market resulting in capacity shortages.
- Port backlogs, cargo limitations on container ships, and a lack of available equipment and port facility staffing.
- Limited available real estate has further led to challenges as construction came to a halt in the past year.
- Increasing fuel costs and uncertainty over weather patterns also play into the available capacity woes among LTL carriers.
How Can a 3PL Help Shippers Manage LTL Transportation Proactively
With unprecedented volumes and capacity constraints that are expected to continue into next year, shippers need solutions for managing LTL. GlobalTranz helps shippers mitigate the LTL market challenges by:
- Access to a broad network of pre-qualified carriers. Shippers can access our long-standing relationships with 120+ national, regional and local LTL carriers, as well as 55,000+ truckload carriers. Our 30+ years of carrier relationships and buying power through combined shipper spending partnerships create a broad coverage map.
- Regional LTL network strength. While we work with large national carriers, we also provide an expanded footprint of regional carriers, which gives shippers more options to secure capacity throughout the country.
- Data-driven planning. We leverage data across a wider network to understand trends within rate fluctuation and available capacity, and identify opportunities for consolidation. Data provides actionable insights to match resources for your freight across zip codes and freight lanes to pair your shipment with the best carrier, at the right rate and with the right resources for executing.
- TMS technology. The GlobalTranz TMS enables shippers to access a broad network of LTL carriers, modes and final mile delivery options based on their freight and delivery needs. Shippers can compare carrier options matching route, carriers, costs and transit times based on delivery requirements, special equipment needs and more.
- Shipper of choice consulting. In today’s capacity environment, shippers who provide a better experience for carriers and help create efficient operations can reap long-term benefits in the form of higher service levels, fewer claims and better rates. We help businesses become “shippers of choice” through planning further upstream to find consolidation opportunities, efficient dock operations, and flexible appointment and delivery windows. We also consult on packaging freight that makes it more appealing in a carrier’s network (stackable, etc.)
- Managed Supply chain solutions. Going a step further than managing the planning and booking of freight, GlobalTranz provides a comprehensive analysis and assessment of your business and requirements, then creates a customized solution with a mix of providers, services and technology to help you mitigate market fluctuation, increase fill rates, and respond quickly to changes in your customer demand.
Increase Stability of Transportation Procurement and Management by Partnering With GlobalTranz
For the foreseeable future, the LTL market will continue to be complex with capacity and pricing uncertainty. To ensure your logistics operations remain versatile and adaptable, connect with an experienced partner like GlobalTranz and begin building your competitive advantage in the marketplace. Request a consultation with GlobalTranz today.