Transplace’s Q2 2020 Logistics Market Quarterly Update

May 1 / US
Transplace’s Q2 2020 Logistics Market Quarterly Update

Logistics industry specialists can look to Transplace’s Logistics Quarterly Market Update and Outlook Report to gain insights from Q2 2020 and an outlook for what’s to come.

The report spotlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chain. Using proprietary analytics and benchmarking statistics from Transplace’s $9+ billion in freight-under-management, the quarterly report provides shippers and carriers with unprecedented access to the transportation market, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and international ocean logistics.

Supply chain, transportation, and logistics professionals can use the quarterly reports to streamline their operations and prepare for what’s ahead in the second half of 2020.

Key Findings for the United States

Full Truckload

Consumer hoarding from COVID-19 created significant supply imbalances in March. Record demand from essential consumer markets created an increase in empty miles and loss of fleet productivity. By April, trucking began to exhibit over supply and an increase of calls from carriers offering capacity and retreating spot rates. Other key findings include:

  • The COVID-19 crisis will reduce freight in industrial and consumer sectors.
  • Expedited van operations may benefit from reduced airfreight capacity.
  • Even with falling diesel prices and slightly stronger utilization, the Trucking Conditions Index is unlikely to see positive readings until mid-2021.

Less Than Truckload

COVID-19 impacted LTL volumes beginning in late March. Carriers report shipment count is down and the average weight per shipment is declining, likely due to a softening TL market. Other key findings include:

  • Operating ratios (OR) increased in 2019 compared to 2018 but XPO improved significantly.
  • Carriers are focusing on automation to improve operating costs, including paperless BOL’s.
  • There is still uncertainty of the long-term impact of COVID-19 on LTL networks.


As they are considered essential businesses, railroads and dray carriers continue to be fully operational and improving service levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. There also continues to be plentiful dray capacity and intermodal equipment across the intermodal network. Abundant cost savings and higher service levels are available for securing. Other factors impacting supply and demand are:

  • Empty intermodal equipment is being repositioned from the West Coast to inland locations.
  • Intermodal YTD volume was down in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019.
  • Long-term shortage of drivers, drug testing mandates and bankruptcies will drive volume to intermodal.

Bulk Tank Truck

The first quarter of 2020 coupled with the previous two quarters revealed little change except for increased demand for materials needed for producing high-demand COVID-19 end products. Other key findings include:

  • Lead time capacity coverage has been reduced due to coronavirus.
  • Carriers are investing in driver retention programs and pay raises.
  • Bulk market will offer flat to moderate increases during the rest of 2020.

For more details, download Transplace’s Logistics Market Quarterly Update and Outlook Report.

North America and International Updates

Mexico: Truckload

Plant openings in mid-May could ramp up manufacturing in the automotive industry. Exchange rate fluctuations and the Mexican economy are affecting imports of goods into Mexico and a slowdown of freight demand. These factors reveal an opportunity to negotiate 2020 rates.  Other factors impacting supply and demand are:

  • Sales of commercial trucks in Mexico plunged in March.
  • Unemployment is rising due to slow Mexican economy and pandemic lockdown.
  • Shippers should increase security awareness due to the potential of theft.

Canada: Truckload and LTL

Most Canadian carriers are operating at full capacity even as receiving facilities operate at a reduced labor capacity. Drivers are becoming more reluctant to move loads that require long travel away from their homes. Other key factors include:

  • Canadian drivers are reluctant to move loads into the United States due to COVID-19 infections.
  • Receiving facilities are experiencing a high volume of inbound freight and reduced labor is causing ‘trickle down’ issues.
  • The North American supply chain may see an increase in last mile ‘small package’ deliveries, even post-COVID-19.

International Ocean and Air

The air freight spot market is heavily impacted by the continued cancellation of commercial passenger flights. Shippers are facing tighter air freight capacity and higher rates as medical supplies and perishables get priority.

The container shipping industry is better positioned for slower growth and will be able to collectively slash capacity when demand plummets. Blank sailings have continued as a means of balancing supply and demand. Other key findings include updates on the U.S. – China tariffs and updates to international ocean container trades.

Vital key performance indicators were obtained from Transplace’s Transportation Management System (TMS) as well as data from the Transplace Control Tower to create the Logistics Market Quarterly Update and Outlook. The TMS provides a comprehensive, graphical view of all shipments, a dynamic dashboard of KPIs and predictive analytics to give users real-time visibility into their transportation network. The control tower proactively tracks shipments and manages exception issues from freight visibility solutions, carrier check calls, and predictive analytics with relevant information from the web, including weather alerts.

Download the Market Quarterly Report here.


Would you like to see Transplace’s Transportation Management System at work? Request a demo!

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