07 Dec

How Has COVID-19 Affected Freight Shipping?

There’s no denying COVID-19’s impact. Millions of people around the world have fallen victim to the virus, good workers around the globe have lost their jobs, and many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. 

forklift driver during covid-19 wearing face mask

The shipping industry has been tremendously affected by COVID-19, as public health measures to control the pandemic reduced economic activity. Over the past eight months, many logistics companies were forced to let go of valuable employees. E-commerce increased and the supply chain struggled to keep up with the movement of many commodities. As stated by Peggy Dorf, an analyst with DAT Solutions, “COVID-19 is causing the mother of all supply chain disruptions.” Countries around the world stopped air travel, and raw materials and manufactured goods have been unable to reach ports due to lockdowns. LTL carriers, along with line haul companies, simply haven’t had enough labor capacity for the demand of work. 

Even as the economy picks back up, there are several indicators of the continued impact of COVID-19 on freight transportation, logistics, and supply chain management.

The End of Low LTL Shipping Rates?

Because shipping rates are dependent on supply and demand, and demand in the sector has been largely on the decline in recent years, LTL companies have lowered or taken very modest increases on freight rates. Because of this, the new capacity crunch has caused LTL carriers to revisit their rates, and even announce abnormal increases as the country deals with the effects of COVID-19-related complications to the supply chain. 

Shipping Delays, Missed Pickups, and Late Deliveries

Due to labor shortage and terminal closures due to sanitizing needs, many freight companies are struggling to manage the influx of work that has come in over these past several months, which often leads to late shipment transits, and even missed pickups. If time is of the essence, it’s a good idea to opt in to expedited or full truck shipping in order to get your goods from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

Damaged or Missing Freight

Because of the current labor limitations in the transportation industry, there are delays in goods reaching their final destinations, which can result in improper storing or handling of goods. The build up of freight at LTL terminals is pressuring some workers to “put 10 pounds of rice in a 5 pound bag.”  This raises the chances of damage and separation of items before delivery, as new parties and temporary labor are working the terminal docks. To combat these risks, always insure your goods and choose a logistics management company you can trust. 

What’s Next?

Now more than ever, during this worldwide healthcare crisis, shipping can be unpredictable, which is why choosing a trustworthy and professional logistics management company can make all the difference. Call (212) 964-4700 to speak with a member of the Ground Force team about how we can efficiently manage your time-sensitive shipments as we navigate this global health crisis.

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