Spring marks not only the return of blooming flowers (and the pollen that comes with them) but also a peak season in shipping. Produce reigns supreme as loads picking up in the southern US, from Florida to central Texas, increase between 15% and 31%. The South-to-North produce loads are very lucrative hauls for carriers. This leaves freight in two other main areas scrambling to find a truck.
- Chinese New Year:
The annual holiday for many Asian countries will come later than it usually does, but even in times for Covid-19 it will have a major impact on manufacturing and production. Any supply chain that includes countries celebrating Chinese New Year will experience a shutdown of some kind during this period. The holiday officially runs from February 11th to February 26th this year. Shutdowns begin a week before the two-week long holiday and production will return to current levels by the end of February.
With 2021 right around the corner, most shippers are still fully-engaged in trying to finish out 2020’s shipping needs as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Everyone has done the best they can weathering the freight storm of 2020, but many are wondering if 2021 will bring that much relief or be as volatile as the past 10 months. We at M&A don’t have a crystal ball telling us exactly what 2021 will bring, but we do have a fair forecast of what to look out for in the next year.
Beyond almost every prediction, COVID cases continue to rise as we enter late November, further hindering the economic recovery and reprieve that the logistics industry desperately needs. Even though the economy is trending upward, most companies are still reeling from supply chain disruptions. The coming of Peak Season likely brings a demand increase as much as 50% compared to 2019, which will result in increased rates and transit.
Effective January 4, 2021, FedEx Express (Domestic, US Export and US Import), FedEx Ground, and FedEx Home Delivery shipping rates will increase by an average of 4.9%, while FedEx Freight will increase rates by an average of 5.9%. FedEx SmartPost, Ground Multiweight, and International Premium rates will also increase, but FedEx has not specified those increases. FedEx One Rate and Retail Rates will also change. The company also said that its list of delivery area surcharge U.S. ZIP codes for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx SmartPost are also set to change, beginning on January 4, 2021