Truckload Market Update: 5 Things to Know for the Week of March 22

March 23, 2020 Andrew Herpich

Andrew Herpich, SVP Carrier Sales at Coyote LogisticsA lot has changed in the past two weeks. As the coronavirus outbreak intensifies across North America, so do disruptions to the supply chains.

Whether you are looking for spot capacity or planning where to send your fleet, here are 5 things to keep in mind over the next week:

  1. Facilities May Be Closed
  2. Carrier Capacity Is Available, But It's Getting More Expensive
  3. Produce Season Is About to Begin
  4. The U.S. Is in a Federal State of Emergency
  5. The Borders Are Partially Closed 

Want a deeper dive into how the coronavirus could impact the long-term truckload market? Read insights from Chris Pickett, our Chief Strategy Officer and author of the Coyote Curve. 


1. Facilities May Be Closed

Many cities and states throughout the country are on lockdown, allowing only essential businesses to keep their (physical) doors open. Don't assume a location will be open.

Before sending a driver to a facility, double check to verify that they are open and operational.

You can check the status of facilities by reaching out to your rep or online via CoyoteGO®.

 

2. Carrier Capacity Is Available, But the Spot Market Is Getting More Volatile

With all the unplanned shipments, many shippers' routing guides are starting to break down, exposing more of their primary freight to the spot market. 

Thanks to the continued, admirable efforts of the men and women on the road, there is still capacity in the market — but the spot rate environment is very different from just a couple weeks ago.

Spot rates are changing not just weekly or daily, but hourly.

With a volatile market comes volatile pricing. In many lanes, spot rates are changing not just weekly or daily, but hourly.

To check rates and get on-demand quoting, leverage CoyoteGO's new Quote & Ship feature.

 

3. Produce Season Is About to Begin

Adding to the coronavirus-related complexity, with warmer weather comes produce season. Though we are several weeks away from the full brunt of produce shipping, it is starting to slowly heat up, beginning in southern portions of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Compared to the beginning of the month, we are experiencing ~100% increase in freight out of those regions.

We are experiencing ~100% volume increase out of produce regions.

Laredo, which is the focal point for Mexico cross-border produce shipments, is also starting to surge.

 

4. The U.S. Is in a Federal State of Emergency

The declaration of a Federal State of Emergency means disaster relief freight (water, meal kits, essential medical supplies).

As the impact of the coronavirus outbreak spreads, so will the destinations for freight. Right now, the focal points are inbound Washington, California and New York. 

The declaration of a Federal State of Emergency means disaster relief freight.

With parts of California being the first to officially lock down and residents ordered to stay at home, inbound California freight has been relatively less attractive.

With the added slowdown of imported shipments (due to China's containment efforts), carriers are concerned about sourcing outbound freight.

That said, many shippers stockpiled inventory in January and February to get ahead of the disruption.

Long story short, there is still plenty of freight moving in and out of California. 

To stay on top of daily intelligence surrounding state and local policies, Coyote is also working closely with the Consumer Brands Association (CBA), an advocacy group focused on the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, with an emphasis on supply chain. 

For more information, we encourage you to leverage their insightsincluding their COVID-19 tracker that follows city, state and federal activity, including all State of Emergency declarations, applicable curfews and travel restrictions.

 

5. The Borders Are Partially Closed 

The U.S. government has partially closed its borders to Mexico, prohibiting all non-essential traffic (i.e. tourists, visitors) from crossing. Canada and the U.S. have also enacted similar measures.

Though trade will continue, the change in operations could create some delays. 

Whether you're a cross-border shipper or carrier, contact your rep if you need support.

 

Need Help with Anything?

We are here to support you. You can get an instant freight quote or talk to a Coyote specialist, 24/7. 

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