Industry Indicators: Week Feb 7 – 13

iLevel presents intriguing data that offers a snapshot of notable industry changes and events during the week of Feb 7 through Feb 13.

Delays, delays, and more delays at Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports.  

Significant in-bound volumes and logistical delays inside and outside ports – including COVID infections of dockworkers – are causing major headaches at Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

The graph shows the number of container ships docked (berth) began to increase in July.  A steep rise in the number of ships anchored followed. 

Since late last year, it’s normal to see 20-40 ships at anchor.   Expect consumers to feel the effects of the significant delays.   

Source:  New video shows massive scope of the California box-ship traffic jam – FreightWaves

Yeah, we know. It pays to be bigger.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that larger fleets pay considerably less per mile for insurance premiums than smaller fleets and owner-operators.  Owner operators pay out-of-pocket $0.165 per mile whereas large fleets a mere $0.049.  

iLevel trusts the substantial $0.116 per mile difference reflects actual disparities in safety records and relevant risk factors and not discounts due to scale.   

Source:  Nuclear verdicts jump more than 300% in 7 years – FreightWaves

Yes, the pandemic and government lockdowns really hurt trucking!

According to a study by Broughton Capital LLC, 3,140 fleets shut down in 2020 – a whopping 185% increase from 2019.   Predictably, most of the failures happened in the second quarter and smaller companies were especially hard hit.  In fact, the average size of fleets that failed in 2020 were 40% smaller than in 2019. 

Source:  Trucking Failures Surged Last Year Under Pandemic – Wall Street Journal

Despite record trucking failures, the number of new for-hire trucking companies rose dramatically. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted authority to nearly 58,000 motor carriers in 2020, a 36% increase over 2019.  After a terrible second quarter, third and fourth quarters witnessed dramatic increases in new carriers.  Attractive spot market rates and volumes lured new entries. 

The graph shows a 20-year upward trend for new carriers – with a notable dip during the great recession.  But 2020 stands out.  In a difficult year, the unprecedented increase speaks to the robust entrepreneurial spirit that defines the trucking industry.       

Source:  New Entries in Trucking Surged in 2020 – HDT Truckinginfo

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