COVID-19 has severely disrupted many segments of the economy – but while we are continuing to prioritize the health and well being of all stakeholders, Shiptransportal remains 100% operational and prepared to serve current and future customers.
Our internal systems were all built to support working remotely. We will begin to split our workforce between remote and corporate. We can each be reached via our main office phone line, email or even chat from our website. We will be available to help coordinate shipments for all customers.
As you can imagine, this crisis has dramatically impacted the transportation environment in the United States and around the world. Below are a few key updates and recommendations:
1) Domestic Less than Truck Load Shipping – There are some new limits being placed on inside deliveries. Otherwise, seems to be operating efficiently with minor interruption.
2) Domestic Truck Load – Outbound tenders are up, in some cases by 20%+. Local short haul freight is at its highest level in years. Capacity is tightening in many markets. Try to arrange bookings in advance to avoid paying a significant premium for same day pickup requests. Please confirm the consignee is open to receive the freight before you load the truck.
Some states, like PA, have closed public bathrooms and rest areas. We believe this type of policy will make it more difficult to keep freight moving in an efficient manner. Please support the drivers that meet your policy requirements by providing clean facilities. Please provide hot water, soap and hot food. If you delay the drivers, it will delay you. Please be flexible and try to support drivers when you can.
Maintain your shipper of preference status. You will want to be considered shipper of preference as capacity tightens more after the first containers start to arrive from China.
- Dry Freight – Tender volumes have escalated significantly along with panic buying from consumers.
- Refrigerated Freight – Outbound tender growth up over 30% as DC’s seek to restock warehouses for consumer items and food items. Midwest, Arkansas, Tennessee volumes are high. With produce ramping up, Florida, Georgia, Texas markets are going to continue to pickup. Expect rates to soar in these markets.
3) Air Freight – Passenger flights in and out of Europe / Asia have been drastically reduced. A great deal of freight moves on these passenger planes. In response to these cancelled flights, some of our partners have chartered planes and are making space available in and out of Asia/Europe. We can help guide you if you have airfreight that needs to move.
4) Ocean freight – Port operations in China are resuming. There have been significant sailing cancellations that have created a shortage of vessel space and bookings are getting bumped to future sailings. Be sure to plan in advance for your bookings to try to avoid delays. The travel ban between the US and 26 European countries has so far had no significant impact on transatlantic cargo movements. Expect short term capacity constraints.
Consider Implementing a COVID Policy
Many manufacturers and distributors are implementing COVID policy as it relates to “visitors” being allowed into their facilities. As it relates to trucking, most are asking the drivers to fill out a questionnaire based on recommendations from the CDC and WHO.
For example, many manufacturers are implementing a policy along these lines:
Only business critical visitors are permitted into the facilities – this can include drivers. Drivers are asked to disclose whether:
- They have traveled to level 2 or 3 countries (per CDC) in the last 14 days;
- Been in contact or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID in last 14 days, been in close contact with anyone that has traveled to any countries listed by CDC travel page; or
- Experienced flu-like symptoms in last 14 days.
If drivers fail to fill out the form or select yes to any of the questions, they are not to be allowed inside the facility. Most will be loaded or unloaded, but not allowed inside.
We’re 100% Operational and Ready to Serve!
At Shiptransportal, we remain fully operational and committed to serving our customers. Please don’t hesitate if you have any questions or would like to learn more.