The freight and logistics market continues to undergo massive changes in response to ongoing demands. Among top freight news, inventory levels are rising slowly as inbound ocean volumes continue to suffer setbacks due to global COVID-19 prevention measures. Meanwhile, the proposed infrastructure bill further complicates trucker’s lives, resulting in a massive increase in liability minimums from $750,000 to $2 million. But why?
It all comes down to the growing pains affecting the industry and changing liability concerns. For instance, CH Robinson has experienced its share of growing pains as the Supreme Court ruled that CH Robinson was responsible for an accident in which they brokered a load to a carrier for a shipper, and that carrier was then involved in an accident. That has effectively put an added strain on the need for brokers to increase their level of liability protection, which will likely result in more significant concern over new and upcoming brokers that wish to enter the market.
However, there is hope on the horizon as the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 61.2% in May, reports Trading Economics, amid some further uncertainty over lending practices regarding COVID-19 resources.
At the same time, the strength in the market is evident by massive rounds of funding, such as project44 raising $202 million, following 135% year-over-year growth in new bookings, and the acquisition of Ocean Insights and ClearMetal.
Trucking Freight News: The Industry Looks Strong Despite Limited Capacity
Transportation capacity has declined, and road closures along the I-40 corridor have cost the industry an average of $2.4 million per day, says Grainnet. Those closures are expected to continue through the end of the month. However, according to FreightWaves, major LTL carriers, including Old Dominion, ArcBest, and Saia, have experienced a solid second quarter of 2021. Specifically, ArcBest announced revenue increased 9% in total since March. Landstar reported revenue projections expected to be above prior guidance ranges of $1.40 billion to $1.45 billion, with truckload volumes increasing 11% as of June compared to the first quarter.
Other top freight news includes the Knight-Swift acquisition of UTXL, a 3PL, for $22.5 million, and the LTL carrier AAA Cooper for $1.35 billion, reports FreightWaves. And as the nation’s largest truckload carrier, it alludes to further consolidation within the industry and fewer organizational silos for shippers to face when sourcing capacity.
Parcel and Final Mile Carriers Join Forces to Create a Stellar Customer Experience
The traditional limits to visibility within the final mile are falling away as technology advances. Integrated systems and final mile logistics innovation are changing how final mile carriers and couriers operate, not to mention MercuryGate’s acquisition of final mile expert solution, Cheetah, in April. And it’s the ability to offer a service level that goes beyond the typical ideals of FedEx, UPS, and USPS last mile that will set these companies apart. It’s all in the goal of eliminating the hassle of managing low-paying final mile moves. FedEx has taken step after step to increase rates, eliminate its SmartPost contract with USPS and add new surcharges or fees, reports Intelligent Audit. Meanwhile, Deutsche Post DHL reported its best first-quarter results in history (26% growth), noted FreightWaves. There is a growing demand for more final mile focus as carriers look to differentiate their value and promote increased customer satisfaction. DHL recently invested $300 million in emerging technologies in their North American operations to bolster ecommerce demand.