Cain Adams at Trinity Logistics/Longboard Logistics in Meridian, ID, answered some key questions about movement in general and freight rates this week as the Coronavirus grips the nation. Our thanks to him and his immediate response.
Cain said, “With schools and restaurants closed, those supply chains are dead in the water. The produce is being pushed to retail. Stores are trying to restock as fast as they can. Potato sizing and supply is an issue. They can’t pack fast enough. Orders are keeping potato sheds steady.”
And, Cain added, “Rates are up on all lanes. Onions orders are steady out of the Northwest, and sheds who are heavy in retail contracts are swamped. Many of them are asking for teams only so they can replenish fast.” He continued, “Rates out of McAllen are higher, too, with onion prices going up pretty fast. Restaurants being closed will help get more carriers on the retail orders though. There are more loads than trucks, so some are shipping on dry vans just to get the product out at a decent price. Reefers are in high demand.”
About the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules and suspending e logs, Cain said, “We are not seeing many trucks turning them off to run harder. We are still seeing 95 percent of trucks stick to the books. I think they just fear they will mess something up and get the fine.”
And, he reported, “At receivers, we are seeing longer wait times to unload. This makes sense with all the other grocery items coming in. Trucks are getting taken care of, though.”
Worth noting: “I’d say hug a trucker, but we can’t afford to get any of them sick. They are looking like rock stars. We are so proud to work with those men and women. I can’t tell you how much many of them care about getting these loads to their destination. Truly, it is inspiring.”