Trending Transportation Updates: August 2021


There were many new transportation updates in the shipping industry last month. Check out some of the top stories and transportation updates of August 2021!

UPS Start Drone COVID Vaccines Delivery

As part of a new project announced on 24 August, UPS Inc. provided coronavirus vaccines using drones. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is conducting the project. In addition, a drone program was initiated in July 2020 by the Academic Medical Center and Health System. Therefore, UPS and UPS Flight Forward stepped up to help support the expansion of the current drone program.

Transporting COVID-19 vaccines via drone provide us with additional delivery options for time- and temperature-sensitive vaccines,” Conrad Emmerich, senior vice president of supply chain at Atrium Health, said in a statement. Read more here.

FMCSA Will Update Household Goods Moving Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a plan to modernize regulations for household goods transportation to lower moving costs and combat the growing problem of consumer move fraud.

The proposed rule, if finalized, would incorporate some of the recommendations of a Department of Transportation Household Goods Consumer Protection Working Group, which offered solutions in 2017 to educate customers better and simplify and reduce paperwork for the over 5,000 interstate household goods motor carriers and brokers.

These recommendations, when implemented, would offer streamlined documentation requirements and increased efficiency for the transportation of household goods. Additionally, it will improve consumer education, protection for individual shippers, and combat fraud,” FMCSA stated. Read more here.

Walmart Starts a Delivery Service for Other Businesses

The country’s largest retailer announced that it would send contract workers from its Spark delivery network, which debuted in 2018, to merchants’ locations to pick up things and deliver them to customers. Over the last year, Walmart has more than doubled Spark’s coverage to more than 500 cities throughout the country, offering access to over 20 million households.

Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart intends to strengthen ties with local communities, particularly with businesses in rural areas that have struggled to provide their delivery services. Walmart’s strategy will pit them against delivery firms such as Uber and DoorDash. Read more here.

PLS Market View Report

The PLS Market View is a monthly report presenting insights from research and critical market indicators as to the current conditions of the transportation and logistics industry. In this report, you will find valuable insights from the following market indicators: the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, DAT’s Trendline Report, and two surveys from Morgan Stanley’s Equity Research division.

Truckload Freight Index (TLFI): While Morgan Stanley saw demand and supply underperform this update, the overall index continued its outperformance for the 4th consecutive update. Their straight-line forecast projects 2021 ending significantly above 2017 as back-to-school, peak season, and supply shortages keep the market on the boil.

Truckload Sentiment Survey (TLSS): In this update, Morgan Stanley saw a mixed bag of “red” and “green” arrows though demand did continue its outperformance. The commentary was again overwhelmingly constructive, focusing on market tightness and the ongoing lack of drivers. As a result, rate expectations remain elevated, ~+6.65%.

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