Weekly Market Update by Sixfold

While transportation volumes in Europe have significantly decreased over the pandemic lockdowns, the need for exception management has only grown — border delays, driver quarantines, demand fluctuations and overall volatility. By analysing live data over millions of shipments on our platform and augmenting it with data from our partners, we've put numbers behind these trends.

Back to normal before new wave

Volume Index: Week 33 - Week 43 live activity on Transporeon platform.

September 2020: Logistics industry has reached pre-covid activity levels before a new wave is predicted to hit. In detail:

Trucks are now driving the same distance as before the pandemic, up from -13% in August.

The share of trucks not driving at all is now also equal to the weeks before coronacrisis reached Europe. In comparison, in mid-April close to 3x more trucks were idling than the usual.

Border crossing times have been almost stable for months, on average crossings take just 5% more time than before the crisis.

Available truck capacity has fluctuated from month to month in the face of unprecedented events and demand spikes. In September there was 17% less capacity available than a long-term average. In comparison, in June available capacity was 33% above this average. We expect fluctuation to continue.

We will be sharing the next monthly covid-impact update in early November as we continue to keep a close eye on the situation.

Summer ended with lower numbers and lower activity than the first summer months.

🚚 Due to vacation season both on shippers’ and carriers’ side, distance driven by trucks bounced back to the lowest levels since June: trucks covered 13% less distance compared to pre-covid period, a 6 percentage point drop since July.

🚚 Re-emerging corona hasn’t made border delays worse, at least not yet. Situation hasn’t essentially changed since June — it has taken on average 7% more time to cross borders whole summer than before the pandemic.

🚚 14% more trucks than usual didn’t move at all — it’s still insignificant compared to mid-April where at the lowest point 2.9x more trucks than on average stayed without work in parking lots.

🚚 During the early days of the first Corona-wave in Europe, there was significant volatility in available capacity, peaking in April and May. Since then, capacity index has steadily moved towards normalcy, reaching -3% compared to average in August. The effect of emerging second corona wave on available capacity remains to be seen.

Logistics continues to improve well

After significant covid-related disruptions in supply chains in March and April, the situation has been improving well over the last few months.

🚚 Border crossings still take slightly more time (+7%) than before, a 1 percentage point improvement compared to June.

🚚 Trucks were driving just 7% less in July than before the crisis, a 4 percentage point improvement compared to June.

🚚 The share of trucks idling has dropped to the pre-crisis levels — a stark contrast with mid-April when over 2.9x more trucks were completely out of commission.

🚚 Available capacity, a metric fluctuating for a variety of reasons, has dropped to +10% compared to baseline. This was in the ballpark of an average month also before corona crisis.

We’ll continue monitoring the situation on the roads and publish next update in early September.

The ‘90% economy’ since early June

It’s been four months since the Coronavirus locked down Europe and three since recovery started. By June Europe reached the “90% economy” — a ca -10% recession that isn’t likely to change significantly anytime soon. While the early weeks of the outbreak and lockdown were characterized by high volatility and uncertainty, the situation of our economy and hence the transportation market has somewhat stabilized lately.

Distance driven by trucks, the main KPI of the regular insights that we’ve been publishing during the crisis, has for the past month been fluctuating around -10%. Since we are not seeing the strong week-by-week changes of the early days, we’ve therefore decided to switch our reporting to a monthly cadence. This allows us to focus on more holistic developments of the economy and transport market, instead of focussing on small fluctuations.

In line with our early statement of increasing stability, border delays (it takes 8% more time to cross than before), share of idling trucks (23% more trucks are not doing any work than the usual), and available capacity (loads get 33% more offers) have also changed very little.

We’ll review the situation again and publish the next batch of insights in early August.