Market Update - North American LTL Industry

26 March 2021

by Keith Lincoln

The LTL (less than truckload) freight transportation industry continues on the path of unprecedented capacity issues and widespread service failures and increasing transit times. These challenges are expected to build and multiply over the coming months as widespread driver shortages, the accelerated growth of the e-commerce industry, and the impending stimulus package are working together to create ripple effects across the entire LTL industry. It is clear the high demand and shortage is not going to subside in the short term and prices will continue to rapidly increase.

These unprecedented factors are having never-before-seen impacts on the North American freight market. Market analyst point to the following factors for the current situation:

  • Home deliveries at an all-time high, due to the rise in e-commerce and companies such as Amazon, DHL and UPS are sending overflow freight to LTL carriers for help
  • The overburdening of Truckload and Parcel networks, resulting in the diversion of high volumes of additional freight into the nation’s LTL networks
  • Extraordinary backups at ports with inbound international freight, causing widespread drayage and rail capacity issues
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the hiring process, and the challenges faced by carriers when trying to hire additional drivers and dockworkers

The Houston Trucking Team is working hard to expand carrier capacity as we add new providers daily. If you have time critical shipments, please communicate directly with our team members so we chart the best course of action for the client needs. Understanding the market and transportation limitations will help you communicate with our clients and manage expectations accordingly.

There are often options with LTL carriers to obtain a “Guaranteed Service” which gives freight priority, but this also comes at cost premium. We can work with you to provide the best solutions available.

Contact Bertling Logistics in Houston for assistance.


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