Trending Transportation Updates: October 2021


Check out last month’s new transportation updates in the shipping industry.

U.S. Posts Weakest GDP Growth of Pandemic Recovery

The U.S. economic growth has slowed down more than expected in the third quarter. The spending on personal goods and services decreased when the U.S saw a surge in COVID-19 cases, transportation bottlenecks, rising prices, and shortages.

“The risks are clearly now to longer and more persistent bottlenecks and thus to higher inflation,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week. “We now see higher inflation and the bottlenecks lasting well into next year.” Read more here.

TMC, eSMARTT to Study Technology in Refrigerated Sector

American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) have announced the start of a study on the use and adoption of intelligence product and services in the refrigerated transport sector.

“Everyone wants to know that their food and medicines are safe and effective at the time and point of use,” said TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell, “and this research will show how leading carriers are using technology to ensure safe and efficient deliveries.”

With eSMARTT technology, TMC wants to overcome challenges during transportation like shipping issues, traffic conditions, weather, and driver availability. Read more here.

The Increasing Demand for Flexibility

The demand for flexibility in fleet maintenance is at an all-time high, with automotive and transportation industries experiencing microchip shortages, delays in vehicle production, and employee shortages.

With vehicle shortages, fleets cannot purchase new vehicles to replace the damaged ones, forcing them to keep those in rotation for more extended periods. However, maintaining fleets for longer periods introduces many challenges, including expensive repairs, more extended downtime, lack of service availability, and a shortage of available technicians.

As a result, partnering with a fleet maintenance provider that offers flexibility will help with shortages and delays. A flexible maintenance program would include

  • Diverse service solutions
  • Managers, drivers, and technicians scheduling online
  • Customizable maintenance and repairs

Read more here.

The 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) Morgan Stanley’s index continued to outperform this update (though ~flat sequence) as both the demand and supply components, seeing slight arrangement decreases, continued to outperform. Flatbed and Reefer indices also continued to outperform as sentiment remains strong despite some softness in the last two weeks.

Truckload Sentiment Survey (TLSS) In this update, Morgan Stanley saw most “green” arrows as all, but current rate sentiment outperformed. Commentary remained bullish as solid demand and a shortage of capacity/drivers supported a tight environment. As a result, rate expectations continued to rise seq., increasing ~+5.34 percent.

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