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Weekly Freight Roundup: Subzero Temps Take Their Toll

Industry Insights, ShippersPublished on February 2, 2019

All eyes have been on the Midwest this week as cold weather chaos on the highways brought the freight network in the some Midwest markets to a standstill.

Freezing temperatures caused tightening capacity due to traffic pile-ups, gelled fuel and general hazards of being outside in such extremes. Trucks failed to start, while others ended up on the wrong side of a road closure. Even the United States Postal Service took the rare step of suspending delivery this week.

Rejections were up 16% week-over-week, helped by a 7% increase in volume. Reefer rejections have been near 20% all week, whereas the nationwide rejection rate is a mere 7.5%. This is because many shippers need to protect their commodity from the cold air.

Depending on the length of haul, and freeze point of the load (for example, beer freezes at 23 degrees fahrenheit) the shipper might request a reefer trailer for temperature control. These trailers can be used to either maintain the internal temp for a longer period of time, or even heat the interior by running the reefer units in reverse. Modern units can simply be set to maintain a temperature and the electronics will manage the details. Markets all over the Midwest have seen rejection rates for reefer shipments inflate this week, especially Monday through Wednesday so that the costs of holding the freight over the weekend can be avoided.

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Convoy Team

Convoy is the nation's leading digital freight network. We move thousands of truckloads around the country each day through our optimized, connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers, increasing earnings for drivers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet. We use technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency in the $800B trucking industry, which generates over 87 million metric tons of wasted CO2 emissions from empty trucks. Fortune 500 shippers like Anheuser-Busch, P&G, Niagara, and Unilever trust Convoy to lower costs, increase logistics efficiency, and achieve environmental sustainability targets.
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