Last year was huge for LTL freight, with a high demand primarily driven by the rapid growth of e-commerce. In 2020, experts forecast a steady growth with more balanced demand, the significant impact of technology, more small companies and startups entering the market, the rise of mobile tech, and the increase of freight rates. Let’s take a deeper dive into 2020 LTL shipping trends and see what will influence the LTL industry in the nearest future.
2020 LTL shipping trends: what to watch for?
Rates are going up
With a spike in e-commerce projects, the demand and popularity of LTL freight shipping have drastically grown. Also, more and more individual shippers are becoming aware of the mode. Essentially, increased demand and not so much capacity have led to a steady increase in LTL freight rates over the last couple of years, and 2020 won’t be an exception. Recently, UPS announced the 2020 General Rate Increase (GRI) and stated LTL freight rates will rise by 4,9%.
More capacity, balanced demand
While in the few previous years LTL carriers were put under huge pressure of supplying shippers with necessary capacity and equipment, things will become more balanced in 2020. Overall demand is settling towards more consistent and steady growth while carriers and shipping providers are now more prepared for a busy season. Essentially, market moderation is grounded by secure pricing changes that will keep supply and demand balanced throughout the year.
Impact of technology
There’s no surprise that technology is reshaping the entire logistics and transportation industry. Apparently, it changes LTL as well, in its own way. Since LTL freight is commonly used by individual shippers, retailers, and small businesses, the tech emphasis will be on better connectivity. There’s an expected spike in mobile apps and tools to book, monitor, and manage LTL shipments for both shippers and carriers in a better way. In terms of automation and freight spend control, advanced software like TMSs, EDIs, APIs, and other tools will be required to manage the business. Essentially, advanced tracking will be a must-have throughout the future years to keep customers updated.
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