North American Freight Market Insights

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Transportation Market Overview and Freight Trends

TOP STORY: Mexico-USA Cross-Border Shipping Considerations

A growing number of global shippers are nearshoring in order to diversify their supply chains and spread out their risks. Mexico has overtaken China and Canada to become the United States’ number one trading partner.

Along the southern border, nowhere is that trade growth more evident than Laredo, Texas. The Port of Laredo saw a 20% increase in trade with Mexico last year, and northbound freight crossing at Laredo has already grown 20% in the first half of this year. That’s primarily because it’s near several major manufacturing centers in Mexico, including the robust automotive industry in Monterrey. Auto parts are the number one product traveling through the port.

Approximation of border crossing volume. Source: C.H. Robinson

The pandemic was the initial eye-opener for many companies. It made them eager to diversify their supply chains across modes, trade lanes, and countries to spread out their risks. The political tensions with China and Russia also continue to be a catalyst. As a result, a great deal of investment is starting. Nearshoring activity already accounts for about one of every four square feet of industrial space in Mexico. We are, however, in the early innings of nearshoring, and we expect to see this growth play out over the next five years.

The healthcare, food and beverage, and automotive industries are among those increasing their manufacturing presence in Mexico for shipping to North American markets, with automotive leading the way. The National Association of Auto Transport in Mexico expects 20% growth in the next four years specifically due to nearshoring efforts. Additionally, industrial components like insulated wire and cable, electrical panels and switches, plus cell phones and related equipment are displaying a material percent of cross border tonnage.

If you are already doing business in Mexico, you will want to look ahead at the implications this growth will have for your supply chain. That could include greater competition for capacity, more congestion on the roads affecting your transit time, and your transloading needs at the border.

Shippers are finding that expanding or setting up new operations in Mexico doesn’t happen without some country knowledge and cross border experience. We are seeing shippers seeking guidance on:

  • Knowing what tax and duty incentives they might qualify for
  • Analyzing the customs processes and fees for each leg in their supply chain
  • Understanding the unique political, cultural, and operational requirements of doing business in Mexico
  • Deciding where to locate their facilities to optimize transportation for their raw materials and components, as well as their finished product
  • Establishing a cross-border transportation strategy

It is critical to develop a logistics strategy that will support your business through transportation market cycles. The cross-border market has its own unique cyclical realities that must be anticipated and built into your strategy.

C.H. Robinson is working with clients on strategies leveraging cross-dock, direct truck service and intermodal, as well as ocean and air. We’ve been offering intra-Mexico and cross-border services for over 30 years, and have grown our footprint at the border to more than 1.5 million sq ft. With the increasing investment in Mexico, it’s important to have cross-border experts helping to develop resilient strategies that will compete for capacity and deliver the best performance the market can offer. Please reach out to your C.H. Robinson representative for collaboration on import strategies, customs, logistics and transportation.

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Full Truckload Shipping

TOP STORY: Capacity contraction is slow

The pattern of capacity contraction this year has been at a non-disruptive pace with net contraction of both operating authority and trucking jobs leaving the for-hire market largely oversupplied. Exact figures are elusive, but directional insights are easy to get at. Year to date through August it appears that the market has contracted ~13,600 carriers (Estimate of for hire class-8 based carriers using C.H. Robinson’s methodology on FMCSA carrier registration data). Through July, long haul trucking jobs (long haul truckload and long haul LTL combined) have shrunk by 17,700. The trucking jobs information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is primarily a measure of for-hire capacity fleets. The net contraction of operating authority of for-hire fleets is heavily skewed to the smallest of carriers, those with fleets between 1-5 carriers. With about 80% of carrier closures as owner operators, the blending of carrier registrations and BLS employment statistics provides a directional lens to capacity movement. The summary is that, with the creation of roughly 120,000 new carriers between 2021 and 2022, the market continues to be at a level of supply exceeding freight volume need.

National LTR averages


Dry van LTR

Dry van is the largest segment of the truck market. It is often the primary reference for the U.S. truckload market’s performance. The market of late has displayed some unremarkable changes in tension, as can be seen below in the red line. While outperforming 2019, load to truck ratios (LTR) are still below the five-year average of ~4:1, but more balanced than they have been for some time.

Week 37 shows a 5-year average of 3.9:1 and a current ratio of 2.9:1.

dry van to truck 6 year comparison

Refrigerated van LTR

The refrigerated spot market TL shows a similar unchanging pattern as van. The 5-year average for week 37 is 7.7:1 with week 37 offering a 3.6:1 LTR.

refrigerated load to truck 6 year comparison

Flatbed LTR

Week 37 this year showed 6.8:1 against the five-year average of 23:1.

flatbed load to truck ratio 6 year comparison

Regional LTR averages

National averages are helpful for aggregate perspectives of the market. Trucking, however, is a very regional business. Each week displays the varying experiences of the trucking market. Shown below is week 37, September 10-16, 2023.

Some markets are in balance, while others may be over or undersupplied, and other markets may have little trade and freight. The freight experience in each market influences truckload capacity strategy and that experience will vary with annual cycles.

Sponsored research by C.H. Robinson, with MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics, has shown that there are four primary market segments: 'balanced' trade corridors, 'headhaul' corridors, 'backhaul' corridors, and 'sparse' corridors. Shipper freight attributes combined with the market segment capabilities shape capacity strategies from committed to spot market strategies. Connect with your C.H. Robinson representative to learn more about our Procure IQTM experience and our researched insights that can help develop a more capable truckload strategy.

Regional dry van LTR

Dry van displays a low level of tension across the United States. Yellow colored regions are displaying relative balance, with warmer colors representing markets with some tension for the week. Week 37 shows a five-year average of 3.9:1 and a current ratio of 2.9:1.

Dry van spot market heatmap DAT - C.H. Robinson freight market insights

Regional refrigerated LTR

Refrigerated trucking offers a portfolio of market environments, with a national average well below the five-year average. The peak produce seasons for the outhern part of the USA have passed, with northern markets harvesting. As the fall approaches, the NW harvests apples, while WI harvests cranberries, creating a portfolio of goods that are both refrigerated and van serviced across the northern half of the country. Week 37 shows a five-year average of 7.7:1 and a current ratio of 3.6:1.

Reefer spot market heatmap DAT - C.H. Robinson freight market insights

Regional flatbed LTR

Today’s flatbed spot market LTR continues to show prolonged regional tension in the South from Louisiana, eastward. Broadly, the flatbed market offers plentiful capacity for spot and contract services nationwide. Week 37 shows a five-year average of 23:1 and a current ratio of 6.8:1.

Flatbed heatmap DAT - C.H. Robinson freight market insights

Contract truckload environment

For hire truckload strategies and budgets are built on contract and spot market strategies. Shippers segment their freight portfolio by lane attributes that support capacity planning (contract) and those lanes with sporadic demand patterns (spot). Additionally, for-hire transportation budgets are shaped by planning for underperformance of contract route guides and for unanticipated loads/lanes (spot). Most (75%–85%) of the U.S. for-hire truck market is moved through commitments most often managed via hierarchical route guides and dedicated truckloads. Today's market offers shippers the opportunity to place lanes with less predictable demand patterns into contract awarded route guides, moving closer to or at the 85% of freight in contract.

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 TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, which serves a 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 first awarded transportation provider accepts their shipment tenders.

These insights are from the week of Sept 10-16, and also reflect on RGD from the month of August 2023.  

RGD by U.S. region

The regional view of route guide performance displays a pattern of high performance in all regions, including the problematic Northeast. The August North America average RGD improved less than 1% from July to August 2023. August average RGD for North America improved 8% (improved performance) compared to August 2022 for a reading of 1.14. 

Week 37 offers a slightly lower performance for the national average RGD of 1.17. All regions of the USA are experiencing similar route guide performance. This view of contract truckload route guides performing exceptionally well is yet another evidentiary point that the truckload market is at its bottom. .

Overall, route guides are performing very well, with primary service providers accepting loads at pre-pandemic levels and the first backup provider accepting rejected tenders most of the time. 

Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights

The chart above from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, reflects weekly RGD regionally across North America through the week of September 10-16.  

August FTA for North America holds at 90% 
  • FTA in August improved one percent to 91%. The Y/Y comparison is 88% for August 2022. 
  • RGD broadly is stable, further supporting the reality of a well-supplied market. 
August RGD across distance bands

Today’s market is flush with capacity. Load tenders from hierarchical route guides are typically accepted by the primary awarded supplier. When rejected, they tend to be unattractive to carriers for reasons such as unpredictable demand, short lead time, or known locations with high dwell event history. 

A stable RGD performance for each of the three shipment distance bands continues. Route guide depth is largely at 1.1 to 1.2 depending on the distance band, with short haul doing the best and medium distance loads showing the most first tender rejection and deepest route guide performance. That said, even the mid and long haul segments are performing close to the short haul distance band.  

August's distance band performance (improved means better route guide performance and declined refers to more backup carrier use): 

  • Short haul (less than 400 miles) posted a less than 1% improvement from July and a 6% improvement from August 2022—about 1.1  
  • Middle distance (400–600 miles) declined in performance less than 1% from July and improved 6% y/y. At 1.2 is the lowest RGD for July in the last six years. 
  • Long distance (over 600 miles) RGD improved by less than 1% from July to August and improved 8% y/y. At 1.15 it is the lowest/best RGD performance for July in the past six years. 

U.S. spot market dry and refrigerated truckload rate per mile insights

Our dry van truckload cost forecast for 2024 is lowered from August. We are forecasting a 24% LH cost decline in 2023 and 14% y/y growth in 2024. The 14% growth in 2024 is predicated on the truckload cycle turning up mid-year 2024.

Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights

DAT Rateview national dry van and refrigerated linehaul cost per mile is the broker price paid to carriers per mile, which excludes fuel surcharge. The C.H. Robinson forecast is an extension of that cost.

Like others, this forecast has been and will continue to be amended as economic forces shape freight volumes and the capacity community responds.

  1. The darker blue line is representing refrigerated cost per mile
  2. The lighter blue line is representing dry van cost per mile
  3. The solid blue lines are DAT Rateview’s broker cost per mile paid to carriers without fuel
  4. The dashed lines are the C.H. Robinson forecast for 2023
  5. Forecast change Y/Y is full year average cost/mile vs. full prior year average cost/mile

We think end-demand has improved markedly in recent months. 3Q GDP growth looks like it’s tracking to well over 4% and we have seen much more robust consumer spending on goods in both June and July. The chart below is Real Personal Consumption Expenditures (CPE) split between consumer spending on goods (orange) and services (blue). As you can see services spending has been rebounded very sharply since the lockdowns ended. Goods spending however benefited from lack of availability of in-person services during the lockdowns. We see spending on Goods increased sharply during the lockdowns and even went way above historical trend growth (dashed orange arrow) peaking in March of 2021. Since that 3/21 peak Goods spending was in a downtrend into the end of 2022 but is finally showing signs of recovery. June and July both posted strong growth of 0.7% and 0.9% m/m growth respectively. This strength is not coming at the expense of services spending, which also posted moderate but accelerating growth.

Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights


We believe one reason Improving end-demand is not reflected in TL freight volumes is that we think inventories further back in the supply chain remain relatively high. We continue to think that retailer inventories, at the front end of the supply chain are where retailers want them to be. However, we don’t think this is the case as you move further back in the supply chain. The chart below is Merchant Wholesalers, a measure of sales and inventories at wholesalers and distributors. The grey bars are the inventory-to-sales ratio. This ratio was 1.39x in the most recent month of July, and as you can see, that is above most of the last 10 years, except for several months during the Pandemic lockdowns. We don’t think these are going back to the lows near 1.2x however we do think there is more work to do here and it likely will take longer than one quarter.

Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights


On the supply front, class-8 tractor production levels remain very elevated for this stage of the truckload cycle. As you can see in the chart below, production remains above the dashed orange trend line where in previous freight cycle downturns (2013, 2016 and 2019), production went below this trend line. It’s difficult to see a transition to an upcycle for freight volume and cost with these net additions to the US tractor population. This was the primary reason we cut our 2024 truckload cost forecast from +20% y/y growth to +14% y/y growth in August.

Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights


In summary, our view of the spot truckload market is that freight volumes continue at levels that are not challenging current capacity, while new capacity continues to be added and contraction of older capacity is slow. The end result is continuation of an oversupplied market.

A final note on contract pricing
Contractual pricing remains low. If a shipper's contract pricing is exceptionally low, it is possible to experience some first tender rejections during the seasonal moves and higher backup pricing as the market experiences seasonal and regional pressures and year end market evolution.

The large portfolio of shipments C.H. Robinson handles is just one of the reasons carriers choose to haul for us. With so many load options, carriers can more easily find loads that decrease operating expenses. This in turn creates more capacity options for shippers that work with C.H. Robinson.

Diesel fuel retail pricing
Retail diesel's national USA average price per gallon has moved from $3.83 in June to $4.38 in August, a 14.3% increase.

In their September 12, 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA estimates 2023 (real retail diesel pricing) average price of diesel at $4.31 and 2024 at $4.07. For perspective, August 2022 was at $5.20.

The report also increases its December 2023 average up from last month of $4.21 to $4.56, a notable increase from the past few months forecast. Routing guide line graph - TMC + C.H. Robinson freight insights

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 over the past month. Below is a summary of the recurring themes, and a display of some variety of market experiences.

Market insights

  • Carriers confirm the market continues at over supply bottom with some positive signs
    • Some opportunities exist for pricing that supports healthier business
  • Contract award volume commitments are volatile week to week
    • There are some upticks in volume related to retail
    • Reports of contract pricing holding are increasing
  • Shipper score cards continue to be managed with discipline
  • Today’s market is affording shippers the opportunity to pursue price opportunity and service. Carriers are reporting increased mini-bid activity from shippers seeking these outcomes in today’s market.

Equipment insights

  • Carriers continue some downsizing of fleets to right size against demand
  • Used tractor pricing is starting to decline, but is still inflated
  • New tractor pricing has not declined
  • Some maintenance parts continue to be difficult to source and expensive


  • There are increasing reports of carriers working to retain the balance of their drivers in preparation for the upcycle
    • Incentives for safety to offset mileage loss impact to driver wages have increased
  • Some smaller carriers are mentioning small wage decreases

A key value proposition of C.H. Robinson to our contract carriers is aggregating lane volume and demand pattern variability to a more predictable experience. Our carriers have more predictable volume from C.H. Robinson and as a result are interested and able to offer consistent capacity and market pricing with high performance.

Imports and inland transportation

Places where the global supply chain meets North American supply chains—like ports and airports—are also affected by the cyclical market and other disruptors. Below we offer some of the notable current situations.

Most market ramps offer available chassis and containers and are operating with good turn times. Below are locations with environments that can benefit from additional attention.

  • Norfolk Southern ramps converted to a stack only system in June at the Memphis and Rossville ramps. Some challenges have slowed implementation at Atlanta into October. The new appointment system reserves a finite set of slots. This limitation could result in some increased accessorial fees and decreased same day flexibility.
  • The SACP 3.0 chassis pool will be launching in October of this year. The administrator of a new chassis pool covering the ports of Jacksonville, Savannah and Wilmington, NC, reports plans to charge a fee to trucking companies that use equipment without registering for the pool. Unregistered carriers who pull chassis from the SACP will be charged $100/day for usage. In addition to the ports of Jacksonville, Savannah, and Wilmington, SACP 3.0 will cover inland locations in Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, NC; and Tampa, FL.
Central/Ohio Valley
  • Cleveland is experiencing challenges at both Norfolk Southern and CSX where containers are being grounded, adding to wait times, delays, and additional fees to the customer.
  • Columbus continues to experience chassis deficits. Export capacity is more problematic than domestic, but wait times are improving.
  • Minneapolis - Law enforcement road checks on DCLI equipment outside the CP terminal is causing some minor delays. Influx of volumes in this market is causing BN to ground containers.
  • Los Angeles / Long Beach: Empty returns continue to be challenging, due to insufficient number of appointments being provided at the terminals. We encourage carriers to provide screenshots of no port appointments in case any disputes need to take place in the future.
  • In LA/LB, the most efficient terminal is LBCT in Long Beach while the biggest challenges currently on empty returns and lack of appointments is APM. Per the carrier network in this market, MSC empty returns have been the most disruptive in recent weeks.

For a full market report on global forwarding, visit the C.H. Robinson Global Freight Market Insights.

Temperature controlled shipping

Post July 4th and Fall Harvest Season updates:
Typically, Post the US July 4th holiday, we experience a lull in the market, prior to the hall Harvest season and peak retail to close out the calendar year. This year, we saw a slight drop in CPM and LTR immediately following the 4th of July, but the DAT cost per mile has gradually increased ~7% from July 30th through last week. We anticipate these costs to gradually increase through mid-November as we begin our fall harvest in preparation for all that fall brings. Think apples, corn, turkeys, pumpkin, and pies!

Market Trends:
The Midwest, Great Lakes, Mountain West, and the Northeast experience the most stress through fall harvest season due to the commodities grown and produce import prevalence. This tightness will likely impact costing through Mid-November, when we will provide more updates as the season progresses.

Drop trailer services demand increases:
We are seeing an increased demand for drop trailer refrigerated services. RFPs in July sought about 50% of lanes to be drop trailer which is a significant increase from historical patterns. C.H. Robinson refrigerated drop trailer services are growing at a rate similar to the market demand and are available through your account representative.


Flatbed continues to offer plentiful supply with seemingly little capacity exiting the market.

Spot market: Carriers continue to service markets/lanes that in tight markets are often resisted. Larger carriers continue to participate in the spot market, which is again characteristic of an oversupplied market. Pricing continues to be at the bottom and likely to hold there for the rest of the year.

Contract market: Today's market affords an opportunity to establish sustainable capacity solutions such as Power-plus, and drop trailer programs on high volume lanes. These high-volume lanes are attractive to carriers as they contribute to driver retention.

Driver recruitment is in a healthy position and carriers report quality of candidates is high, enabling strong service levels.

Cross-border shipping: Canada

Canadian spot market truckload volumes in July were almost identical to those of July 2019 and 2020 as freight activities aligned with seasonal expectations. Freight volume saw a 20% decline month over month and 14% decline year over year.

Cross Border spot market load volume breakdown:

  • Southbound Loads: down 14% Y/Y and up 11% M/M
  • Northbound Loads: down 18% Y/Y and down 42%% M/M
  • Intra Canada: down 12% Y/Y and down 2% M/M

Customs Payment process change
The Canadian Border Services Agency is in the works of updating the 35-year-old 'legacy' collection system, to simplify electronic payments. This is scheduled to come into effect May 2024 and all supply chain partners including trucking companies will be required to register and create an account. Impact on freight moves is expected to be minimal, if at all, as delays are not anticipated at the border and updates are expected to be completed before the next cycle of freight surge.

UAW strike impact
Should the United Auto Workers go on strike and automotive freight volumes slow or stop for a period of time, the Canadian market would be affected. Trucking capacity tied to the auto makers in Canada would be added to the pool of available equipment in the market and create an even wider gap in freight to truck ratio.

Cross-border shipping: Mexico

Investments in Puente Colombia by the State of Nuevo León

Traffic lanes doubling from 8 to 16. in partnership with the City of Laredo, Texas to modernize the bridge/port. Puente Colombia registers about 5,500 daily crossings and the secretary of Regional and Agricultural Development expects that to grow to 8,000 with the opening of the La Gloria-Colombia Highway later this year. All of these government investments are motivating companies that want to produce closer to the North American market to establish themselves in the State of Nuevo Leon.

Carriers report investments in assets, technology, and staffing in response to the growing opportunity. The Northeast region of Mexico is displaying the greatest amount of carrier investment due to what appears to be about 50% of the Mexico near shoring investment. It appears that a strategic plan for truckload capacity will be beneficial for shippers in this region to ensure long term capacity and managed costs due to the development of this region. Carriers are struggling with the current exchange rate between US Dollars and Mexican Pesos and shippers should be prepared for some dialogue with carriers on pricing and/or currency in an effort to help keep their carriers profitable.

The current state of cross dock border capacity is available but limited. To support our customers and the growing cross-border volume, C.H. Robinson just opened a new 400,000 sq. ft. facility with 154 dock doors and room for 700 trailers. C. H. Robinson is ready to serve our clients with a total of 1.5 million sq. ft. along the Mexico-USA border and is currently managing 1 in 10 southern border loads into the United States.

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Intermodal Shipping

TOP STORY: A warming market

Plentiful domestic capacity

The North American domestic volume Y/Y deficit remains. With volume in August up 0.2%. As expected, peak season 2023 is looking to be lackluster. However, y/y comparables are expected to return to flat Q1 and to see growth as early as Q2 2024.

While volumes remain down y/y, there are no capacity-constrained domestic container markets. Drayage and rail capacity is still abundant, it is a perfect time to secure your long-term solutions. As the rails and drayage providers see volumes grow, discounts you could secure today may be gone tomorrow.

Pricing prospects

Spot rail pricing tends to lag truck pricing by four to six weeks and continues to be ~30% lower y/y. However, we may have reached a bottom on this cycle. Spot rates rose 1.5% in the latest data. This could be attributed to a 31% increase in the cost of diesel over three months and added demand from the end of the Vancouver port strike. Contractual rates, while still down, are also normalizing.

FTR's pricing pressure index projects a slight recovery in rates during the peak season and contracted rates are forecasted to finish 2023 at an average of -2.8% y/y. The rails are still offering capacity in historically deficit markets. Making commitments now in markets like southern California and outbound Mexico will result in lower rates and favorable capacity allocation agreements before the market shifts back to historic norms.

Complementary service to truckload

Rail transit times continue to perform above five-year averages. Coupled with plentiful containers and chassis, the rail is better positioned than ever to support your supply chain needs. This is doubly true as diesel costs continue to rise. Additionally, expedited service options provide savings with similar speeds to over the road in many lanes.

The railroads are looking for unique solutions to get more containers on their networks. Set your strategy for 2024 now.

Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping

TOP STORY: LTL industry finding its way through the closure of Yellow Freight

With Yellow's roughly 10% of the LTL market volume working to find a home across the U.S. LTL carrier community, the impact is still unfolding, but there are some notable changes from the July market to the September market.

Overall, LTL volumes are down as an industry and not expected to see much change through the end of the year. It is the absorption of Yellow volume into the balance of the carrier community that turned the pricing environment from likely declines to increases.

  • General Participation (GP) rate increases continue to be posted in September by carriers that had not in August
  • Reductions in GP pricing are no longer occurring in the LTL industry
  • Accessorial charges for services like extra length and lift gate are being increased by many carriers
  • Contractual rates are holding firm, with some shippers experiencing out of cycle increases from carries who absorbed an abundance of Yellow freight
  • With the cost of diesel increasing, carriers could factor this into pricing

Small Parcel

FedEx announces tariff increase of 5.9% for 2024

FedEx Corp. shared on Tuesday September 5th that it is planning to increase prices on most of its U.S. services by 5.9% in 2024. This price increase is less than the 6.9% increase they had last year in 2023.

The price increases will affect FedEx Ground and FedEx Express services for intra-USA, as well as international shipments. The exact price changes will depend on what kind of discount structure and package characteristics a customer has with FedEx.

FedEx Peak Season Surcharges

FedEx also unveiled its surcharges for peak season services starting October 9th-January 14th, 2024. Residential delivery surcharges will be levied, with the amount dependent on a shipper's weekly volumes. These surcharges will be imposed with a three-week lag after volumes have been computed. The surcharges will apply to enterprise customers that ship more than 20,000 residential and ground economy packages per week during any of the "calculation weeks" commencing October 9.

High-Volume Shipping Surcharges

  • For high-volume shippers using FedEx Express, the per-package surcharge could reach up to $7.40
  • Similarly, for shippers with very high volumes utilizing FedEx Ground, the per-package fee could climb to as high as $6.35

These changes reflect FedEx's strategic move to adapt to the competitive shipping landscape while managing operational costs.

UPS Rate Increase

Effective from December 26, UPS will implement a 5.9% average rate increase across its Ground, Air, and international services. This increase is a percent less than its previous year's rate increase of 6.9%. The rate changes underscore the industry's dynamic nature and the impact of external market forces on the pricing strategies of major players.

Peak Season Surcharges

UPS has indicated a rise in its peak season surcharges, which are set to surpass those of 2022 will go into effect in October and will apply to all current surcharges, including those for bulky and hard-to-handle packages. This development hints at the company's strategic approach to manage the surge in demand during the peak season and the complexities associated with handling a diverse range of packages.

Government and Regulations

TOP STORY: Summer Recess

On Sept 30th, spending authorization runs out for federal government agencies unless Congress can pass appropriation bills and the bills are signed by President Biden. If they cannot come to an agreement, non-essential government services would stop and a “government shutdown” would begin. In the past, the way a government stoppage has impacted the freight goods movement industry has been in two primary areas. First, the Energy Information Agency stops publishing weekly updates on average diesel fuel prices nationwide. The first scheduled update that could be missed is Monday, October 2nd. So, if a government shutdown only lasts a couple of days, this would not be skipped. The second primary impact we have seen in the past is that partner government agencies involved in the customs clearance process often shut down and are deemed non-essential. USDA, FDA, and EPA inspections for imported goods could be delayed if the product requires an agency besides US Customs to clear the goods.

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