Weather Related Service Update: Winter Storm

Freight Market Update

As a result of last week’s winter storms and below freezing temperatures affecting a significant portion of the country, in particular the South Central and Mid-West, there will be continued service disruptions across all modes of transportation this week. Due to this being one of the worst weather impacts since the 2014 Polar Vortex, it is possible for impacts from last week to extend months.

Further, since this marks the last week of February and typical increased shipping demand for the end of the month, Bulk Truck, Flatbed, Intermodal, and Truckload capacity will be limited. In those markets expect contract availability to be extremely limited and the spot market pricing to be intensified.

Carriers are currently prioritizing by first delivering freight that is on hand and undelivered from last week. They will prioritize freight that was scheduled to pick-up last week for loading this week. Newly scheduled pick-ups for this week are prioritized last.

LTL Carriers:

Service and temperature protect embargos that were in place last week have been lifted.

Multiple LTL carriers have advised they are experiencing heavy pick-up volumes to start the current work week. They are scrutinizing shipment size based on space and weight, and in some cases may refuse to pick-up shipments greater than 10’ of space or greater than 16K pounds. If you must ship to meet end of the month commitments, and plan to utilize more LTL capacity to do so, avoid building shipments greater than 10K pounds. Odyssey recommends ensuring that you are not shipping multiple LTL shipments to the same customer with the same LTL carrier on the same ship date or risk excessive freight charges.  The LTL providers will combine these shipments and charge accordingly for volume or exclusive trailer use.

Expect delivery service delays this week as LTL networks dig out from a back log of freight that is on hand and undelivered from last week.

TL Carriers:

Odyssey has been advised that load-to-truck ratios in the TL market are as high as 30 loads for 1 truck. Spot market rates are 3X – 4X higher than contract pricing because of the demand due to last week’s weather and the current weeks’ push of end-of-month shipment activity.

Bulk Truck Carriers:

We have been advised that bulk truck capacity will be limited for a minimum of 2 weeks. In some markets, Odyssey is booking 2-3 weeks in advance. Lead-time remains a factor and short lead-time bulk shipments (24- 48 hours lead time) will likely be at risk to no coverage options rather than having ample lead time and securing an option 2-3 weeks in the future.

Tank washes are recovering and getting back on-line this week. As a result, tank washes are backed up and will add to the capacity issues. Capacity has already been tight prior to the weather last week, due to historic freight demand on top of issues with COVID.

Bulk carriers have advised to clearly communicate expected shipping volumes over the next 2 weeks, and ask that shippers and receivers stay on schedule when loading/unloading drivers. Any delay will cause a ripple effect creating more delays.

The Odyssey MLS team is working closely with the carrier community to secure coverage and track in-transit shipments.  We strongly encourage our clients to utilize our web portal tools to confirm shipment coverage or tracking status.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 

Winter Storm Recovery

As recovery from these winter storms begins, we will continue to share service updates as they become available:

Resources & Service Updates:

Friday, February 19, 2021 

Temperatures Begin to Moderate in the South; Wintry Weather in the Northeast

Slow warming can be expected across the Southern U.S.; however, temperatures will remain much below normal into the weekend. A cold front will produce a wintry mix in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with heavy rain that could cause flash flooding in the Southeast. A system in the Northwest will produce rain and mountain snow.

For live updates click here.

Thursday, February 18, 2021 

Significant Winter Storm Impacts

Due to recent winter storms and extreme weather conditions, there are significant service delays and disruptions across the LTL community with terminal closures and service and freeze protect embargos throughout the Midwest and South Central US.

Odyssey is working with all our partners and are actively monitoring and posting updates here.

This week’s weather event is significant not just because of the precipitation, but the freezing temps persisting in areas like TX and LA that do not have the infrastructure to combat the cold and poor road conditions. To add, there is another weather event that is going to impact the South Central, Southeast and Northeast US this Thursday and into Friday. Expect significant shipping delays.

What to expect:

  • All carrier networks (LTL/TL/Bulk Truck
  • k) will be backed-up from trucks not unloading thereby limiting available driver and trailer capacity
  • All carrier networks (LTL/TL/Bulk Truck) will be out of balance, with some areas having a greater imbalance than others
  • The entire middle portion of the country has been impacted, so it effects not only freight moving in and out of the region but also freight passing through this region
  • Pick-up coverage will be delayed this week across all modes, pushing pick-up dates out likely until early next week
    • Primary impact areas: South Central and Midwest regions
    • Secondary impact: all other regions
  • Shipments that are in-transit will be delayed, delivering later this week and into next week
    • Primary impact areas: South Central and Midwest regions
    • Secondary impact: all other regions

We encourage our clients to use our web portal tools to identify in-transit shipment statuses:

  • Shipment Tracking in Visibility
  • PI Weather Impact Mapping

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 

Significant Winter Storm in the South and East of United States

A major winter storm will bring heavy snow and ice from the South Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Isolated severe storms in the Southeast may produce damaging winds, large hail, and a couple of tornadoes. Snow continues in the Northwest, Great Basin, and Rockies.

In addition, with another winter storm expected to create dangerously icy conditions across inland portions of Southeast Texas,  Odyssey is working to safely resolve any service delays and disruptions.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Massive Winter Storm With Major To Extreme Impacts

A massive winter storm will lift from the southern Plains to the Northeast through Tuesday with snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Expect significant travel disruptions and power outages. Severe weather is also expected with this storm in parts of Georgia and Florida. Meanwhile, arctic air with frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills will remain over the central third of the U.S. this week.