2021 Logistics and Supply Chain Industry Recap

2021 Logistics and Supply Chain Industry Recap

2021 logistics and supply chain industryCovid-19 and a global shutdown left the world ready to put 2020 behind us. Little did we know, 2021 would take us for another wild ride. As the pandemic lingered and gained strength in unexpected places, it continued to interrupt supply chains worldwide. Production bottlenecks, volatile swings in pricing, and massive capacity shortages were just a few of the issues that shaped the logistics and supply chain industry landscape in 2021. In this article, we look back at some of 2021’s supply chain issues and highlight some of the industry trends to look for in 2022.

The World Learned The Importance Of Supply Chains

A few years ago, your average person might not have been able to explain what “supply chains” are. Now, it feels like every time you turn on the news, that’s one of the topics you hear. A global shortage of materials caused prices to soar and projects delayed. Ports are congested, labor shortages in trucking have caused delays, a lack of warehouse capacity, and the list goes on. So much disruption happened in 2021 that you may have forgotten about the Suez Canal disaster. For just one year, that’s a lot to process.

logistics port congestionPort Congestion Causing Severe Delays

As dockworkers contracted Covid-19 or landed in quarantine, loading and unloading at ports are constrained. The pandemic has sidelined truck drivers, limiting the availability of vehicles that can carry products from ports to warehouses to customers. Throughout the pandemic, consumers are purchasing goods rather than services. According to Bloomberg, retail imports set a record high for the United States in 2021. To understand just how clogged the ports were, the average wait at anchor (i.e., the number of days cargo ships waited outside the port) peaked at 20.9 days for the port of Los Angeles. In late December, there were 102 cargo vessels anchored in San Pedro Bay.

A Volatile Pricing Market

International shipping rates hit all-time highs in 2021. Ocean rates increased due to non-stop demand for ocean freight from Asia to the United States and a lack of capacity. Demand and congestion are the main drivers for sustained sky-high rates. To put the situation in perspective, international freight rates in August 2021 reached $10,174/FEU, a 466% increase on the previous year. Experts predict that prices may take two years to return to normal levels based on past market cycles.

Domestic Trucking Shortage

The American Trucking Associations estimated that in 2021 the truck driver shortage would reach over 80,000 drivers. There isn’t a single cause of the driver shortage. Still, a few factors that contribute to the problem are the high average age of current drivers (increased number of retirements), women making up only 7% of all drivers (well below the workforce average), and lifestyle issues such as the time away from home. Although driver pay and earnings have gone up significantly in the past decade, the problem of recruiting new drivers to the industry remains.

supply chain disruptionThe Suez Canal Blockage

Although it felt like years ago, the Suez Canal debacle happened in 2021. Since its completion in 1869, the Suez Canal has become one of the world’s most essential seaways. This human-made waterway enables a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia. According to Reuters, about 12% of the world’s shipping traffic moves through the canal, so the blockage disrupted an estimated $10 billion worth of goods each day.

Natural Disasters Impacting Supply Chains

As if the world needed more supply chain disruptions, 2021 presented challenges out of our control. Hurricane Ida, the Texas winter storm, California wildfires, and significant flooding in Canada are just a few of the events that rattled supply chains across the globe. Hurricane Ida caused destruction and fuel shortages. The winter storm in Texas caused power outages and shipping delays. The California wildfires caused road closures. The floods in Canada caused railway and road damages. The point is, the logistics and supply chain industry had a wild ride in 2021.

Policy Responses

In 2021, the Joe Biden administration introduced proposals to address the ongoing supply chain disruptions. In June, the administration announced a supply-chain “disruptions task force” that created an agreement to operate the Port of Los Angeles 24/7. The task force enlisted freight companies to help move goods off the docks. Furthermore, the Transportation Department provided a $5 billion loan to modernize California ports. Later in the year, the President announced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This $550 billion federal investment for America’s roads, bridges, water infrastructure, and more is the largest federal investment in public transit ever.

What To Look For In 2022

There is no indication that supply chain disruptions will ease up in 2022. Bottlenecks, labor shortages, and capacity crunches remain widespread as we begin the year. While nobody can predict precisely when supply chains will normalize, we can predict how shippers will adapt in 2022. Given that supply chains will continue to be stressed, companies must deploy real-time visibility platforms to monitor shipments at the order level. Having end-to-end supply chain visibility and advanced information on lead-time changes can only help navigate these challenging issues.

Understanding that supply chain disruptions are inevitable means that you must plan ahead. 2022 isn’t the year to wait and see if supply chains normalize. By embracing new trends and technologies, companies can minimize these disruptions’ impact on their business.


Logistics Plus International (LPI) Solutions Introduction Video

Logistics Plus International (LPI) Solutions Introduction Video

Logistics Plus has a new introductory video focusing on its Logistics Plus International Division (LPI) global logistics solutions. The 3:30-minute video, shown below, can also be viewed on the Logistics Plus YouTube Channel or on the Videos menu of the Logistics Plus website.

Ready for an international quote? If you have any questions, feel free to contact us with any global supply chain challenge!

(PS: You can also watch our complementary Logistics Plus North American Division (NAD) introductory video)


How Freight Pricing Varies By Transportation Mode

How Freight Pricing Varies By Transportation Mode

freight pricingUnderstanding how freight pricing varies by transportation mode can help determine the most cost-effective solution for your business. By learning the ins and outs of pricing variables, you can find ways to cut costs, increase efficiency, and avoid overpaying for services you don’t need. Quite frankly, determining the mode of transport is one of the most critical business decisions you can make.

Less-than-truckload (LTL)
LTL shipping refers to freight deliveries that are too large to ship via parcel but too small to fill an entire truck. LTL carriers sell multiple shippers space on the same truck and LTL shipments are often more complex to price than other modes of transportation. Pricing is calculated using several factors, including total weight, density, freight classification, distance, and accessorials.

Full Truckload (FTL)
Full truckload is used when a single shipper has enough freight to fill up an entire truck. Truckload rates tend to be the most simple to determine since they are based on a per-mile or flat door-to-door rate. Not surprisingly, capacity also has a major impact on full truckload prices.

Standard parcel shipping has become one of the highest-profile sectors within the shipping industry due to the rise of e-commerce. Parcel is similar to LTL freight pricing. Cargo is priced by the pound, dimensions, and transit times. There are additional charges for packages that fall outside of certain dimensions or weight thresholds. Standard, first-class, and overnight options are usually offered for parcels which play a part in determining the price.

Airfreight is an often-used mode of transportation for time-critical shipments. Air carriers will charge by either volumetric weight (also known as dimensional weight) or actual weight, depending on which is more expensive. If the volumetric weight exceeds the actual weight of the product, the volumetric weight becomes the chargeable weight.

Ocean Freight
In comparison to air freight, ocean freight tends to be less expensive. Charges are based on the nature of goods being transported, the weight or volume, distance to the destination port, and the rates set by the shipping carrier. Ocean freight prices also depend on the shipper’s decision to go with an FCL or LCL shipment. Full Container Loads (FCL) are best suited for large shipments, while Less than Container Loads (LCL) are more suitable for smaller shipments.

Rail and intermodal options tend to be the most cost-effective way to transport cargo. Rail containers are booked on a per-mile basis, similar to truckload shipping. Intermodal providers have agreements in place with railroads to transport cargo across the various rail networks.

Contact us to get started if you’d like to request a free quote on your next ground, air, ocean, or rail shipment. With over 25 years of experience, our team of experts is ready to assist you with your transportation needs.


Today is the third annual National Logistics Day!

Today is the third annual National Logistics Day!


Today is the third annual National Logistics Day!

June 28 is the day to recognize and appreciate the importance of the Logistics Industry.

National Logistics Day TIA LogoERIE, PA (June 28, 2021) – Logistics Plus Inc. (LP), a leading worldwide provider of transportation, logistics, and supply chain solutions, invites you to join the entire logistics industry in celebrating the third annual National Logistics Day to recognize and appreciate the importance that logistics plays in our national and global economies.

It is estimated that the transportation and warehousing segment in the U.S. alone accounts for over 5.5 million jobs and that all logistics activities account for nearly 8% of everything we make and sell. The third-party logistics segment alone represents a $200 billion industry and employs more than 126,000 men and women with a payroll exceeding $7.5 billion annually.

The first National Logistics Day was established on June 28, 2019, by Logistics Plus and registered with the National Day Calendar. Numerous city, county, and state institutions have officially endorsed it, and the U.S. House of Representatives issued a formal Congressional Record honoring June 28 as a National Logistics Day. Since last year, the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) – the definitive voice for the logistics industry – has been actively advancing National Logistics Day throughout the industry.

“We are extremely proud of our 25-year history in this industry and our TIA membership this past decade,” said Scott Frederick, Vice President, Marketing & LTL Carrier Relations for Logistics Plus. “Along with our 3PL industry peers, it’s rewarding to see the many awesome jobs we create for our employees and the interesting supply chain challenges we solve for our customers. Logistics is important and deserving of its own day of celebration.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic put our industry and our members in the spotlight,” said Anne Reinke, TIA President & CEO. “TIA Members have worked tirelessly juggling and addressing the huge demand on household goods and filling gaps in both shipper and carrier capacity wherever they could. Now that the logistics industry is better known, it is incumbent upon all of us, but most especially TIA, to make it better understood by raising our members’ profiles, herald their great works, and educate the public about all that the logistics industry does – and National Logistics Day is the perfect forum to do so.”


Visit www.tianet.org/national-logistics-day to learn more about National Logistics Day and to read more interesting facts about the logistics industry. Visit NationalLogisticsDay.com to learn more about the holiday’s origins. You can follow @NatLogisticsDay on Twitter and use the #NationalLogisticsDay hashtag to give social media shout-outs to friends, family, or colleagues that work in the logistics and supply chain fields.

About the Transportation Intermediaries Association

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the professional organization of the $214 billion third-party logistics industry. TIA is the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines doing business in domestic and international commerce. TIA is the voice of transportation intermediaries to shippers, carriers, government officials, and international organizations. For more information visit www.tianet.org.

About Logistics Plus Inc.

A 21st Century Logistics CompanyLogistics Plus Inc. is a 21st-century logistics company that provides freight transportation, Warehousing, fulfillment, global logistics, business intelligence, and supply chain management solutions through a worldwide network of talented and caring professionals. The company was founded 25 years ago in Erie, PA, by local entrepreneur Jim Berlin. Today, Logistics Plus is a highly regarded, fast-growing, and award-winning transportation and logistics company. With a Passion For Excellence™, its employees put the “plus” in logistics by doing the big things properly, plus the countless little things, that together ensure complete customer satisfaction and success.

The Logistics Plus® network includes offices, warehouses, and agents located in Erie, PA; Akron, OH; Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Chino, CA; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Des Moines, IA; Detroit, MI; Fort Worth, TX; Haslet TX; Houston, TX; Laredo, TX; Lexington, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Melbourne, FL; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Olean, NY; San Francisco, CA; Australia; Bahrain; Belgium; Canada; China; Colombia; Czech Republic; Egypt; France; Germany; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Libya; Mexico; Netherlands; Poland; Saudi Arabia; Taiwan; Turkey; UAE; Ukraine; Uganda; and United Kingdom; with additional agents around the world For more information, visit www.logisticsplus.com or follow @LogisticsPlus on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Scott G. Frederick
Vice President, Marketing
Logistics Plus Inc.
(814) 240-6881

Click the image below to download the Logistics Plus logo:
Logistics Plus Logo - slogan

Jim Berlin Discusses National Logistics Day And More On Inbound Logistics Podcast

Jim Berlin Discusses National Logistics Day And More On Inbound Logistics Podcast

National Logistics Day: Has the Logistics Industry Earned Its Spotlight? Guest: Jim Berlin, Founder & CEO, Logistics Plus Inc.

Listen to the June 19, 201 Inbound Logistics Podcast at
http://inboundlogisticspodcast.inbound-logistics.libsynpro.com/national-logistics-day-has-the-logistics-industry-earned-its-spotlight-guest-jim-berlin-founder-ceo-logistics-plus-inc or by clicking the play button below.

IL Podcast Jim Berlin 6-19-21


The supply chain industry took center stage during the pandemic as the entire world had to adapt to a new way to work and live. Thanks in large part to the essential services of logistics professionals, life is finding its way to a new normal. It’s only fitting to celebrate the industry on National Logistics Day, established June 28th, 2019, by Logistics Plus. Jim Berlin, CEO of Logistics Plus, joins the show to talk about the importance of National Logistics Day and show how a company like Logistics Plus can dream big and work to do great things for the industry.




DOWNLOAD THE NEW INBOUND LOGISTICS APP featuring the updated and expanded Logistics Planner!

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