North American Freight Market Insights

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Transportation Market Overview

Close of 2021 looks much the same; looking to Q1 2022 shows some historical seasonality norms

As 2021 closes and early 2022 unfolds, the North American surface transportation market will likely offer sustained tension while following some historical cyclical norms. The U.S. truckload market continues at record levels of tension heading into December’s holiday weeks and the first week of January.

Year-end logistics planning

Similar to previous cyclical events—DOT’s Roadcheck week and Thanksgiving to name a few—this month we review the seasonal trends between December and early January.

The graph below shows the average DAT load to truck ratio (LTR), truck postings, and load postings for the 10 days before and after December 25. Like other predictable market events, both demand and supply contract as the event occurs with several trailing days where the market fluctuates before a return to pre-event levels.

NAST CHR year and ltr 10 year average

Source: DAT dry van truckload and C.H. Robinson. All days shown are weekdays.

The low LTR’s on Christmas Eve and the previous day are not necessarily good shipping days. As these are ratios, both the posted loads and available trucks drop precipitously. The actual number of trucks available are far less than normal business days since drivers take vacation and shippers tend not to ship high volumes.

The ratios for days following a disruption, in this case a holiday, are higher due to the lag time for drivers returning to work. While shippers quickly return to shipping, tension increases from a spike of loads. It’s a multi-day process trucks returning to active status and the market being supplied to its current ability.

 

December shipping: Key insights based on historical 10-year average

High LTR between Christmas and New Year (4.9 avg)

Most comparable year insights

Contributors to LTR between Christmas and New Year

Truck postings between the holidays decreased by 31% compared to the 10 days before Christmas Eve.

Load postings between the holidays increased by 3% compared to the 10 days before Christmas Eve.

In 2021, both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on weekends. This hasn’t happened since 2010, making previous year comparisons problematic. Shipper and carrier behaviors will be different as a result.

There will likely be low activity on these holidays, and still small activity the Eve of both. The other days between the holidays, will likely see similar trends to what the chart above.

 

Looking at 2022 supply chains

The 2022 market will most likely follow the historical seasonal patterns of past years but at an elevated level of tension. With an economic forecast in the United States of 4% gross domestic product (GDP), expect continued freight volume growth and continuing challenges to seating trucks and building them into the first half of the year. The second half of the year offers some forecasting challenges.

Prepare to enhance your transportation strategies to get the most from the surface transportation market.

  • Prepare for sustained regional pressure on trucking and intermodal transportation due to higher than normal import volumes through Q2 2022. This is driven by two supply chain strategies:
  • Just-in-time shipping: Retail and manufacturing industries attempt to improve inventory to sales ratios
  • Just-in-case shipping: Several industries are shipping additional inventory to address uncertain inbound supply chain capabilities
  • Anticipate pent up demand for new tractors, trailers, and chassis as supply chain disruptions continue to impact new equipment production.
  • Adjust for freight volume backlogs from manufacturers across industries (including automotive, consumer durable goods, personal electronics, etc.). It is unclear when supply chains will catch up and to what extent this volume will bolster the forecast.
  • Expect continued migration of labor from larger carriers to smaller carriers, including more drivers becoming owner-operators.
  • Improvement of utilization of fleets equipment as trailers, containers, and chassis are released from trapped positions.

As we move into 2022, you have an opportunity to improve the transportation experience by discussing and aligning objectives and business processes across supply chain functions and suppliers.

Leverage collaboration, data, and key suppliers for better supply chain and logistics operations outcomes in this dynamic market. Studying freight characteristics with ProcureIQ® and leveraging visibility tools, including our Navisphere® platform, will empower and enlighten collaborative teams so that you can get the most from this and the forthcoming markets.

North American Freight Market Insights | C.H. Robinson

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Full Truckload Shipping

TOP STORY: Labor is improving amid other challenges influencing the truckload experience

Labor is central to the logistics experience. Workforce demographics are key to trucking and warehousing jobs. As cited in publications and webinars by C.H. Robinson, the U.S. Census bureau data suggests a broadly aging workforce, with meaningful pressure on trucking as baby boomers continue to retire.

People 45–65 years old make up roughly 40% of trucking jobs. This demographic has been declining since 2018 and will continue until about 2025. It will not expand again until about 2030.

As we think of the trucking labor market however, gains have been made across the industry. Local trucking is up 10.6% from three years ago according to Jason Miller, associate professor of logistics at Michigan State University. Long-haul trucking and LTL markets continue to lag. In October, long-haul job openings improved but were still short 12,700 from same period in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAST CHR labor gap

Source: Jason Miller, PhD. Additional reference to this visual on our blog at www.chrobinson.com.

These long-haul and LTL gaps are meaningful to the trucking experience. Expect them to improve in 2022 because of escalating wages and improved lifestyle efforts of the carrier community. Keep in mind, this gap may be slightly better than shown above as some talent migration the owner-operator segment is not reflected in the above figures detail due to self-employment status.

Regional trucking insights

  • Southeast and Northeast markets are experiencing more traditional seasonal levels
  • Texas and California markets are experiencing high demand, requiring continued diligence on both capacity strategy and lead time

Year-end seasonal insights

  • Shippers started tendering loads for the for the last two weeks of the year the week of December 6, 2021
  • Expect a similar trend as Thanksgiving in the last two weeks of December: tightening market, increased overall demand, increased spot market pricing, and route guide pressure

How the vaccine mandate impacts trucking and LTL

As mentioned in the government update of this report, there are no new updates to the implementation of the two executive orders mandating vaccines and there are many court challenges against them.

Truckload services will likely see minimum impact in United States and Canada for intra-country moves. For details on the potential capacity concerns for less than truckload (LTL) service and cross-border trucking between Canada and the United States, see those sections of the report.

  • U.S. truck drivers are anticipated to be largely exempt from the OSHA mandate. Source: CNBC, quoting the Labor Secretary
  • Canadian truck drivers are 85%–90% vaccinated Source: Trucknews.com
  • Most LTL carriers are subject to two key elements of the mandates: Over 100 employees and holding government contracts

What to know about imports and inland transportation

Container dwell fees continue to be delayed as progress to clear the ports continues

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach announced today that consideration of the “Container Dwell Fee” would be held off another week, until Dec. 20.

Since the fee was announced on Oct. 25, the twin ports have seen a combined decline of 47% in aging cargo on the docks. The executive directors of both ports will reassess fee implementation after another week of monitoring data. Source: The Port of Los Angeles

Ocean’s impact on trucking in the near term
Ports will continue to face pressure for trucking and intermodal services well into Q2 2022. Use the following insights to better understand the sustained volumes and efforts to improve port congestion.

  • Capacity from China and Southeast Asia continues to be very tight, expect this to continue through Q2 2022
  • Congestion shows an improvement on paper, yet as carriers dwell further upstream, they’re not being included in backlog revised calculations
  • Ocean carriers are pushing more interior point intermodal (IPI) cargo to inland ramps to help with port congestion
  • Ocean carriers may send extra vessels to clear accumulated empty containers across terminals to enhance the fluidity of offloading and reloading empty containers
  • Rates continue to be elevated and are expected to stay high before a pre-Chinese New Year rush

Airports continue to experience high dwell for imports
Trucks picking up imported air freight at U.S. airports face lengthy dwell times. LAX is the largest concern with dwell times that can last all day and into the next. In some situations, drivers need to be swapped out while a truck is still in line. As such, more companies seek transload facilities to transfer the load to team drivers to make up for lost time, but this increases cost and takes time to implement.

Spot market, committed market, and capacity insights

Spot market under continued pressure
All three primary truckload segments continue to display unprecedented load to truck ratio (LTR) tension. The charts below show six years of DAT's LTRs. The red line represents 2021.

A 3:1 LTR for dry van can be considered a reasonably balanced market, while balanced for refrigerated is closer to 6:1 and flatbed considers 20:1 balanced.

Throughout 2021 spot markets have been stressed and unique. As capacity continues to enter the market in 2022, these levels could decrease. Additionally, as trailers, containers, and chassis are unloaded and released to rotation, market tension may be improved. This will be a prolonged process of increased optimization. Currently, expect the first half of 2022 to continue with some higher levels of tension. The second half of 2022 is less clear. 

Dry van LTR
The graph below shows some downward trending of the dry van national LTR average. The map later in this report provides more detail to regional areas of tension and balance that create the national average.

DAT dry van load to truck ratio | C.H. Robinson Market Insights November 2021

 

Refrigerated van LTR
Like dry van, refrigerated LTR shows a slight relaxation of tension, but LTR levels are still at historical highs. Like dry van, refrigerated shipments have areas facing regional pressures and others closer to balance.

NAST CHR reefer LTR 6 yr visual | C.H. Robinson Market Insights November 2021

 

Flatbed LTR
As shown below, flatbed is experiencing a favorable trend while at historical highs. See the flatbed section of this report for more insights on the forthcoming flatbed seasons.

NAST CHR flat ltr 6 year | C.H. Robinson Market Insights November 2021

 

Through the upcoming holiday season until the end of 2021, expect active capacity to contract due to holidays and family gatherings. Some carriers are offering incentives to keep drivers at work against the market opportunity. Year-end freight volumes have the likelihood to be strong, especially in the port markets, so tension is expected to be high through year end in the ports and likely across the broader markets.

Be proactive on shipping plans and capacity strategies. Regional inclement weather could be problematic as it was with late winter weather earlier this year.

Dry van DAT LTR by region

The map below clearly shows high pressure in port areas, especially Southern California, cross-border Mexico, and Southeast ports.

Yellow, orange, and red regions are higher tension as they display LTR's over 3:1 (Note that yellow is up to 6.9:1)

NAST CHR van spot market map | C.H. Robinson Market Insights November 2021

 

Contract truckload environment

Most (75%–85%) of the U.S. for-hire truck market is managed through commitments most often managed via hierarchical route guides. What follows are some perspectives and notes on today’s contract truckload environment.

Route guide performance
Companies commonly use waterfall (or hierarchical) route guides to manage awarded freight on lanes with some level of demand pattern predictability. The following insights are derived from C.H. Robinson’s large portfolio of customers across diverse industries throughout the United States.

Two key metrics of route guide performance are first tender acceptance (FTA) and route guide depth (RGD). RGD refers to how far into a route guide a shipper must tender shipments before carriers accept loads, or the average number of tenders per load. FTA is a percentage of how often the awarded primary transportation provider accepts their shipment tenders

Routing guide depth

The chart above from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, reflects weekly RGD regionally across the United States through the week of December 5–11, 2021

During the week of December 5–11, 2021, the overall RGD across all regions is unchanged from month to month at 1.79, which presents some reasonable stability over the past few months with the exception of the spike from Hurricane Ida early in Sept for the Northeast. Regional RGD shows a slowly and minimally improved Southern region from a month ago. Both the Midwest and Northeast have shown some slight improvement over the past four weeks also. The story is the West which has been increasing over the past month with a recent material jump to ~1.8 for RGD.

October's FTA was at 80%, which is within the 80–82% FTA we’ve seen since the reopening of the economy in 2020. For some additional context:

  • Week of March 3, 2019, FTA was 89% and RGD was 1.21
  • Week of Feb 23, 2020, FTA was 90% and RGD was 1.17

Essentially, when the first tender is accepted at the same rate and RGD increases, fewer loads are covered with the first backup and likely more loads are going deeper in the route guide and to the spot market.

For November, short- and long-haul shipments showed no meaningful change in route guide depth with medium length of haul showing slight improvement. For perspective:

  • Short haul (less than 400 miles) was unchanged holding between 1.4 and 1.5, which is still elevated from 2019 and the first half of 2020 levels, which were in the 1.1 to 1.2 range.
  • Middle distance (400–600 miles) slightly improved from roughly 1.9 in October to ~1.8 in November, which is much elevated from 2019 and the first half of 2020 levels, which were in the 1.3 to 1.4 range.
  • Long distance (over 600 miles) was unchanged from October, holding about 1.75 in November; like the other distances, is well above 2019 and the first half of 2020 levels, which were in the 1.1 to 1.3 range.

Voice of the carrier from C.H. Robinson
C.H. Robinson has two customer communities, shipper customers and carrier customers. What follows are insights from conversations with carriers of all sizes to offer perspective into their top concerns as the year ends, and provide some general projections for 2022. Below is a summary of the reoccurring themes.

  • PTO/vacation for drivers
  • Available drivers are declining for the remainder of the calendar year
  • More drivers are requesting the last two weeks of the year off
  • Focus on keeping drivers home for the holidays
  • Equipment shortages, including new tractor and trailer shortages caused by delays in manufacturing
  • Carriers are shifting to relay models for middle distance and longer hauls.
  • Older assets are not being turned over until there is a confirmation of arrival of new equipment
  • Shipment tender rejections remain at all-time highs
    • Challenges with available capacity
    • Prioritizing freight with predictable demand and low dwell time


C.H. Robinson's spot market dry van truckload rate per mile forecast

Our 2021 forecast continues its upward course through the end of the year amidst the pressures of supply and shipment volumes, with a forecasted 4% increase between now and the end of the year.

The 2022 forecast has been increased from 3% to 4% year over year (Y/Y) average rate per mile to 2021 with the year-end 2022 rate expected to be near the 2021 year-end rate per mile.

As many model inputs continue experiencing variances, expect this model to evolve as inputs vary. Additionally, C.H. Robinson will continue to apply its broad market costs and market experience to the forecast and continue to present updates on a regular cadence.

NAST CHR van forecast

Key to the truckload experience into 2022 is access to smaller carriers as the labor migration is in a second year of a meaningful shift. This migration of talent is shrinking the active capacity in the largest carries, while meaningfully expanding owner-operators and the smallest carrier segments.

Connect with your C.H. Robinson team to discuss strategies to improve your access to capacity and options for adding greater stability to freight expenses.

Temperature controlled shipping

Expect temperature controlled primary markets, such as the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, and Southeast to surge at the end of 2021. Regional pressures associated with seasonal harvest, production, and inventory stocking put additional strain on the broader truckload market. Expect increased pressure to pull dry and refrigerated capacity to support several commodities as we approach the holidays.

  • Salinas Valley transition to Yuma
    The Salinas Valley transition to Yuma, AZ, is complete and runs through April. As a result, there will be seasonal tightness in Arizona with a subsequent loosening in Salinas Valley.
  • Peak retail and holiday season
    Historically, peak season activities result in increased demand through the end of Q4—and this year is proving no different. Increased demand with a limited carrier pool leads to an imbalance in supply and demand, requiring creativity and a flexible supply chain to secure the capacity you need.
  • Imbalance of refrigerated trucks
    Throughout the year, 2021 has brought a unique imbalance for refrigerated trucks. With the exceptional demand and pricing for dry van freight, there is enthusiasm in the refrigerated community to run some refrigerated trucks as dry vans to save on the fuel and the use of the refrigeration unit while making similar money. These moves effectively decrease the available temperature controlled capacity.

Connect with our temperature controlled experts to learn more about seasonal imbalances affecting your business and how our unique transportation procurement and capacity solutions can help both your immediate shipping needs and long-term strategy.

Flatbed

Pricing and market balance forecasts for the rest of 2021 into 2022 are largely the same from last month.

Flatbed market insights

  • Seasonality may soon constrain capacity. The flatbed market will likely remain stable in January 2022, but seasonal projects generally ramp up in February and March, which can constrain capacity.
  • Key industries have pent up demand for flatbed. The automotive, manufacturing, and construction industries have had atypical years and discerning their flatbed needs in 2022 is not perfectly clear. The first two below have pent up demand that could contribute to returning volumes in the coming year.
    • Auto and industrial machines saw a strong March in 2021, but saw a steady decline due to the semiconductor chip shortage and other inbound supply issues.
    • Manufacturing had a second bumpy volume year with inbound supply chain issues central to influencing inbound and outbound flatbed loads.
    • Building materials and construction has been strong since the spring recovery seen after February 2021’s widespread severe winter weather.
  • Customer volume forecasts are up for 2022 with early collaboration happening now to develop strategies to meet 2022 forecasts.
    • Forecasts include backlog of volumes from strained inbound supply chains that will ship in 2022.
    • Backlog volumes will shift normal off-season experiences.
  • Weather has been favorable to the open deck market for Q4 activity, contributing to increased fleet efficiency.

3 flatbed recommendations to implement now

  1. Update your routing guides. As a best practice, put a heavy focus on primary lanes with key incumbent providers to ensure optimal service.
  2. Add efficiency to loading and unloading operations. Keeping dwell times short will help you become or remain a “shipper/consignee of choice”.
  3. Remain flexible. Look upstream into the business (production, sales, operations) for better predictability and planning to bolster transportation decisions heading into Q1.
    • Lead time and planning will be key to experiencing the best the market has to offer.

Cross-border shipping: Canada

British Columbia State of Emergency continues
High levels of rain and flooding destroyed roads and bridges. Road and rail access in and out of British Columbia for intra-Canada and U.S. cross-border traffic has been impacted from the damaging floods.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is offering HOS exemptions to Canadian carriers providing direct relief to the British Columbia emergency from certain regulations while they transit the U.S. due to flooding and road closures in the province.

Shipping in Canada via rail

  • Both the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) railway mainlines between Vancouver and Kamloops are fully operational.
  • Rail traffic is transiting eastbound and westbound through the Fraser Canyon corridor under directional arrangements between CP and CN railways.
  • Enhanced track inspections and maintenance activities are ongoing and low-speed restrictions remain in place.

Shipping in Canada via road

  • Restored highway routes include detours, intermittent closures, and essential-traffic-only restrictions.
  • Progress continues on the reconstruction and repairs to major roadways across the region.
  • View both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection updated emergency protocol and C.H. Robinson’s client advisory for more information on the situation. Information on temporary cross-border procedures, exceptions, and restrictions are included and your C.H. Robinson team is ready to assist with questions.

Marine import operations

  • Demand for anchorages continues to exceed capacity
  • There are more than 50 cargo ships parked and waiting for a berth window
  • Only MSC has contingency plans for the port of Vancouver, all other shipping lines continue to prioritize Vancouver
  • Import containers are still awaiting access to rail
  • Export loads has been reopened with heavy congestion impacting productivity

Vaccine mandates for cross-border trucking effective January 15, 2022
With roughly 80% of cross-border truck traffic moving with Canadian carriers and the balance on U.S. carriers, the impact of the vaccine mandate is lessened as an estimated 74% of drivers are expected to be vaccinated by the deadline. Currently, U.S. drivers are estimated to be vaccinated at a rate lower than Canadian drivers.

The mandate specifies:

  • On January 15, 2022, all truck drivers crossing into Canada will need to be fully inoculated
  • Canadian carriers are striving to get the balance of their drivers vaccinated
  • It is plausible that this deadline will move if the U.S. mandate deadlines are amended

C.H. Robinson is working with our carriers to secure capacity and prioritize awarded freight over spot market for cross-border services

With the recent events in British Columbia and on the East Coast, outbound and inbound volumes both grew by 5%, while intra-Canada exploded to 137% growth month over month (M/M), bringing yearly growth to 41%. Source: Loadlink

Canada’s Statistics post from December 7, 2021, offers more information on Canadian trade figures and the impact in British Columbia.

Explore your Canada capacity options
C.H. Robinson's decades long presence in Canada and cross-border trucking solutions provide our customers with the most capacity available. Know the professionals that serve your business will work with you for both planned and unplanned cross-border needs as market conditions shift.

Cross-border shipping: Mexico

Regulatory updates
The Complemento Carta Porte legislation continues its delayed start date of January 1, 2022. The implementation date has the possibility of changing again since the new version of Carta Porte engine wasn’t released as planned. The trial period was suspended because of this, and companies are waiting to know when it will be ready to start trials. Many think that it will be January but are waiting for authorities to make a formal announcement.

Mexico’s ports continue to implement PITA, the customs technology integration project designed to clear trucks in a paperless environment. All crossings are now integrated with PITA, including the World Trade Bridge, but it will be the last port to make PITA mandatory.

The trade community anticipates a Q1 2022 roll out there, which will require all border transfer carriers to utilize the single badge system that incorporates all customs, carriers, and trade partner information within an RFID-chip embedded in their badges.

Imbalance for cross-border trade is growing
Northbound demand for both crossdock and direct truckload services continues to exceed southbound demand by bouncing between 2:1 and 3:1 for both intra-Mexico and Laredo into the United States. At this sustained level of imbalance, carriers are repositioning empty equipment to meet demand, and this is the reason for higher costs.

Spot market for northbound shipments exiting Laredo increased this week 23:1 from the 15:1 average experienced in Q3 2021. The increased pressure was mainly due to Mexico and U.S. holidays in November, but also because of increased year-end volumes. This level of spot market imbalance requires flexibility in schedules, lead and transit times, and pricing on northbound freight. Source: DAT

Improving the driver experience
Carriers within Mexico continue prioritizing shipping locations with quick turn times while declining loads and/or increasing costs in demurrage charges for companies that have a history of long dwell times.

Carriers ask shippers and third party logistics providers (3PLs) to have customs clearance documentation ready in advance to streamline the border-crossing experience. They also push to unload Mexican trailers faster at U.S. crossdocks to enable the return of equipment to Mexico faster while opening capacity for northbound shipments.

Growing demand for refrigerated capacity
Western U.S.-Mexico borders continue to experience increased freight volumes with winter produce season in full swing, creating higher demand of refrigerated units. Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and other winter-harvest vegetables grown in Sinaloa and Sonora are crossing through Arizona and California borders, placing increased pressure on capacity northbound. This regional crop season continues into January.

B1 Visa migration
Mexican drivers with B1 Visas continue migrating from cross-border transfer services to direct service, delivering deeper into the United States. Work with your C.H. Robinson representative to determine if a crossdock or through service is best suited for your needs.

Vaccine mandate
Truck drivers crossing the U.S./Mexico border, those providing transfer services, and those offering direct through services must be vaccinated in early January 2022. It is not clear yet how impactful this will be to cross-border capacity, but due to the level of sharing vaccines from the United States to Mexico’s border states, it is possible the impact of the mandate will be less material.

Leverage our 30+ years’ experience in Mexico to help secure the best service available in today’s market and help you proactively navigate changes as the mandate is enforced.

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Intermodal Shipping

TOP STORY: Volume growth remains steady for intermodal markets

Intermodal volumes have been relatively steady with some localized challenges to capacity throughout 2021. Over the past quarter, daily intermodal moves have consistently climbed, which indicates better rail network management and increased fluidity. These volumes will remain strong through year-end as normal seasonality unfolds and continues into Q1 2022.

Service variability remains a primary challenge, but with the noted improved network management, expect Q1 2022 to show improved consistency on service. Container utilization, chassis availability, and active truck utilization in the dray space will remain critical to keeping up with demand.

Focus areas for the coming month:

  • Dray capacity has pockets of limitations you can address with flexibility and planning
  • Constraint of domestic 53ʹ chassis supply continues against increased demand coupled with container congestion at consignees
  • Winter weather events may lead to additional network disruptions and service variability
  • Challenging import volumes from the West Coast will persist through Q1 2022 and possibly Q2 2022

Intermodal is an opportunity for more capacity
Overall, intermodal is open and continues to participate in the broad freight flows and migration of loads in today's market. Use it as an opportunity to increase capacity, but be sure to accept goods when available and turn trailers/containers as fast as possible to return capacity to the network.

Engage your C.H. Robinson account manager for more insights and strategies to help integrate intermodal into your supply chain, minimize peak season and dwell surcharges, and manage this current environment.

Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping

TOP STORY: Strong LTL volumes forecasted for end of year 2022

 

The end of 2021 may see LTL tonnage reach 8% higher. Source: ACT Research's November Freight Forecast.

The LTL carrier community indicates disciplined pricing, operations, and investment in infrastructure are all top areas of focus. Other insights include:

  • Expect the rationalizing of LTL networks post-consolidation to continue (as it has been since 2007).
  • Watch for slight investment in dock doors and terminals with some carriers. Late 2022 will bring the benefits of these investments.
  • Expect carriers to continue focusing on freight that contributes to efficient operations and higher yield
  • Anticipate overdimensional and long freight to move, but at higher prices
  • Watch for terminal/regional embargos will continue in 2022 for transactional freight and shippers
  • Expect driver and crossdock labor shortages to continue despite an average compensation increase of 7% according to feedback from carriers
  • Plan for LTL shipments to be more impacted by vaccine mandates than truckload due to government contract requirements and businesses over 100 employees
  • Watch for reduced active capacity (trucks and trailers) as carriers are harvesting parts from parked assets to keep the fleet running since parts and new equipment are difficult to find

While LTL capacity continues to be stressed, C.H. Robinson has access to the most capacity. Trust our experts to help find value in each segment of your portfolio and align freight to carrier preferences. Create the solutions you need for changing market conditions using our relationships with over 150 contract LTL carriers, a vast consolidation network, and a diversified suite of services.

Small Parcel

End-of-year small parcel shipping options for shippers

  • Non-metro deliveries and shipments incurring additional fees may be better served via other modes:
  • Regional parcel carriers
  • Consolidation
  • LTL carriers
  • Express shipment costs can be mitigated by downgrading services to more cost-effective options offering the same transit days
  • Late fees can be influenced by speeding up invoice to pay cycle
  • Negotiating terms can minimize late fee risks
  • Shipping later in the week (Wednesday–Friday) can increase service levels
  • Following the carrier’s packaging recommendations/diligence on packaging can minimize damage risk
  • Ship early
  • Consider alternative drop off locations, which may increase speed of delivery and improve cost of shipping
  • Utilize multiple carriers; regional carriers will have the greatest ability to take on additional capacity
  • Connect with our parcel experts to learn more about how a diversified parcel strategy and revised processes can help improve your parcel shipping experience.

    Government and Regulations

    TOP STORY: Vaccine mandates are in the courts

    Last month, the Infrastructure and Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law by President Biden. As congress pivots to non-freight related legislation, the only legislative and regulatory items to be aware of right now are the two potential vaccine mandates for government contractors and businesses with more than 100 employees.

    Both executive orders have been challenged and stayed in the courts. While they will have very limited impact on the trucking industry, they will still be worth monitoring as they make their way through the courts. Should these orders be implemented as they are currently written, the LTL industry could experience the greatest disruption as most/many LTL carriers have government contracts and are over 100 employees.

    Watch for more updates on this topic as the orders move through the courts. Trust our global network of experts to be ready with strategies and support where and when you need them.

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