Logistics Market Stays Flat as May Begins

As we move into the fourth month of the US COVID-19 outbreak, businesses may begin returning to pre-pandemic operations as states begin reopening.  

To effectively track each state’s progress in reopening and how freight is impacted, we will publish a market update for the coming weeks as the country eases out of lockdowns.  

Currently, we are seeing little fluctuation in the domestic logistics market when compared to the past few weeks 

Regional markets throughout the US are staying relatively flat weekoverweek since they bottomed out in mid-April 

Increases in volumes started climbing this week steadily but still down 10-15% year-over-year according to Freight Waves’ Sonar indexes 

Rejection rates from drivers are still down except for some individual markets, which have slightly increased rates.  

If shippers have a two-to-three-day window for lead time on loads, they will have no issue in getting those fulfilled.  

However, same day or next day requests are becoming more difficult to cover in certain markets. This has especially been the case for Pacific North Plains and in outbound California refrigerated freight. 

The ISM Index contracted in April after going up in January from its low at the EOY 2019. This pullback indicates a slowdown in production.  

But the Logistics Manager’s Index skyrocketed from the end of February through April. It eventually reached its highest levels around 59.0 mostly due to consumer goods consumption.  

Zipline Regional Logistics Market Updates 

Zipline operates with a unique carrier team setup, splitting our experts into four regions for optimal service. Each group oversees freight that enters their region and plans for specific market trends in their respective states. Here is what each region is seeing currently: 

Northeast Logistics  

      • Still easy to cover for all markets except outbound south Texas and Florida to the northeast as capacity out of these markets is harder to come by. 
      • Warehouses in New Jersey and New York are reopening in the next 30 days. We expect to see an increase in outbound volumes from these states. 
      • We expect outbound rates from New Jersey and New York to fluctuate in response to these reopenings. 

Midwest Logistics 

      • ColumbusOhio has recently been a desirable market for carriers. We have seen competitive outbound rates here and expect harder to cover loads in the coming weeks. 
      • Rates for outbound Midwest to California refrigerated freight have been climbing and getting tougher to cover.  
      • Outbound freight from the Midwest to New Jersey has been and continues to be stagnant. 

Southeast Logistics  

      • Rates throughout the region have been stable over the past few weeks, dropping only by $.01 per mile.
      • South Texas is heating up for outbound volume and capacity has tightened in response. Covering freight ahead of time with backhaul carriers will prove to be crucial for lowering or maintaining rates. 
      • Tenn., GA, Dallas all still desirable locations for carriers. And as such, rates in these markets are still favorable for shippers.  
      • Refrigerated freight out of California to the region has been difficult to book with limited capacity. 

Westcoast Logistics 

      • California refrigerated freight is showing some signs of recovering. This sentiment is a result of increased volume and more limited capacity in the region.  
      • Pacific Northwest is also showing similar signs of recovery with outbound reefer freight volume and rate increases. 
      • Seattle is becoming a more favorable market for carriers to head to with rejection rates increasing a bit. 
      • Moving freight into Seattle, Ontario, California, and Denver, Colorado markets should pick up. We are seeing favorable rates for shippers in these markets as carriers look to capitalize on outbound volumes. 

State-By-State COVID-19 Reopening Status  

To help our customers understand where each of the lower 48 states stands in letting businesses reopen, we have compiled a list of their statuses and mandates in effect. We will update this information every week until restrictions are completely lifted. The information in this section was obtained through CNN, unless otherwise noted.  


Status: Open  

The state’s stay-at-home order will expire on April 30 and will be replaced by a “Safe-at-Home” order, which allows for minimal reopening. Commerce will reopen with precaution, but non-work gatherings are limited to 10 people. 

Shipping in or out of Alabama should be close to normal.  


Status: Partially Open  

The governor extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15 as it was set to expire at the end of April. However, the new order has a few modifications and allows for retail and other non-essential businesses to begin reopening on May 4. 

As the state reopens retail facilities on May 4, shipping in and out of Arizona should not be substantially impacted.    


Status: Open 

Arkansas was one of seven states with no formal lockdown orders from their respective governor. The state limited some dine-in capabilities at restaurants, but it will even relax these guidelines beginning May 11.  

Shippers moving freight in or out of Arkansas should not expect to see any disruption from closures.  


Status: Restricted  

California Governor Gavin Newsome issued a March 19 stay-at-home order with no expiration date. However, public officials in the West Coast state have begun discussing easing some of its restrictions 

When shipping to or from California, check to ensure that facilities are online and operational.  


Status: Partially Open 

Following the expiration of the stay-at-home order on April 27, Colorado has begun a “safer at home” phase of reopening. This order allows for non-essential businesses to resume on May 4 and elective medical procedures to begin again.  

Shipping to or from Colorado should not be restricted.  


Status: Restricted  

The East Coast has taken the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak and continues to extend more restrictive measures to keep the pandemic in check.  

Connecticut officials have issued a mandatory shutdown until May 21.  

It may be a challenge to make retail deliveries in this region for some time.   


Status: Restricted 

Despite its small population, Delaware has a stay-at-home order in effect until May 15.  

Freight moves in or out of Delaware could be impacted by closures.  

District of Columbia 

Status: Restricted 

The nation’s capital is on a stay-at-home order through May 15. At that point, the city’s mayor will consider extending it or lifting it depending on the pandemic.  

If shipping to or from DC, ensure your supply chain partners can handle freight.  


Status: Open 

Florida will lift most of its restrictions on May 4 and commerce will return to a near pre-pandemic state.  

Only bars, gyms, schools, and salons will remain closed. Shipping to and from Florida should be undisrupted.  


Status: Open 

Georgia made headlines after being the first state to lift virus-related restrictions on businesses. The state has allowed all facilities to reopen if they follow proper social distancing guidelines.  

Shipping in or out of Georgia should not be an issue.  


Status: Mostly Open 

The governor’s stay-at-home order expired at the end of April. Idaho plans to gradually reopen all facilities by the end of May.  

Expect shipping in or out of Idaho to be unaffected by restrictions.  


Status: Restricted  

Illinois officials have extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31. These restrictions have caused state lawmakers to file suit against the governor stating he did not have authority to extend the order beyond 30 days.  

Freight could be impacted in Illinois. Shippers should check facilities’ availability before delivery.  


Status: Mostly Open 

The state’s shelter-in-place order expired on May 1 and was not extended. All state residents over the age of two are now required to wear a mask.  

Most businesses are open and not restricted. Shipping in and out of Indiana should not be interrupted for vendors.  


Status: Mostly Open 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has let the state’s stay-at-home order expire on May 1. Business throughout the state are mostly open. Restaurants, gyms, and retailers are open at 50 percent capacity.  

Vendors should not expect much transportation disruption in Iowa.  


Status: Varies 

The state’s universal shelter-in-place has expired, and the governor has turned over reopening decisions to county health officials.  

Shippers should check with individual supply chain partners to see if they are online.  


Status: Restricted  

The state of Kentucky has had a “Healthy At Home” order on the books since March 23. Officials aim to bring businesses back but have yet to give specific dates on reopening.  

If shipping to or from Kentucky, ensure your supply chain partners can handle freight.  


Status: Restricted 

Louisiana has a shelter-in-place order in place through May 15. After which, businesses can start to reopen slightly.  

Shippers could face some logistics difficulty in Louisiana. Ensure that supply chain partners are online before working in the state.  


Status: Mostly Open  

Maine will begin reopening its economy on May 1. The governor’s plan permits most businesses if they can maintain physical distance.  

Shipping into or out of Maine should be mostly unrestricted.  


Status: Restricted  

The governor of Maryland instituted a closure of all businesses in the state on March 23. Officials have yet to give specific reopening dates.  

Shippers could face some supply chain difficulty in Maryland.  


Status: Restricted  

Governor Charlie Baker has recently extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 18, which requires all non-essential businesses to remain closed.  

Vendors with delivers picking up or dropping off in Massachusetts should check with their supply chain partners to determine their status.  


Status: Partially Open 

Some of Michigan’s stay-at-home order was relaxed at the end of April. However, the order was extended until May 15.  

Shippers should check with supply chain partners when doing business in Michigan.  


Status: Partially Open 

The governor of Minnesota has extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 18, but with that comes some relaxed guidelines. Businesses are allowed to begin coming back online May 4 with proper safety precautions.  

Vendors should ensure that their supply chain partners are operational when shipping to or from Minnesota.  


Status: Partially Open  

Mississippi’s stay-at-home order will expire on May 11. Currently, the state has a “Safer at Home” order in action. It suggests that Mississippians should only travel for essential reasons. Gatherings of 10 or more for non-essential reasons are banned.  

Because of varying restrictions on businesses, shippers should check with supply chain partners to see if their operation is impacted.  


Status: Open 

All Missouri businesses will be able to resume normal operations on May 4 with limited public health guidelines.  

Shippers should not expect any closures or difficulty in Missouri.  


Status: Mostly Open 

Most businesses will be permitted to open beginning May 4; however, gyms, movie theaters, and other places of assembly where social distancing is not possible will not resume.  

Those shippers with operations in Montana should not expect much difficulty but may want to check with supply chain partners before shipment.  


Status: Mostly Open  

All businesses, aside from bars and indoor theaters, will reopen for business on May 4 with few restrictions.  

Nebraska has not issued a stay-at-home order since the outbreak, so vendors should not expect shipping issues.  


Status: Partially Open  

The state’s stay-at-home order will remain in effect through mid-May. All retail stores can open May 1 but must offer curbside pick-up.  

Suppliers should check with partners in Nevada to ensure their operations are not affected but should not expect much difficulty. 

New Hampshire 

Status: Restricted 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has issued a “Stay at Home 2.0” order. It restricts, but allows, businesses to reopen in the middle of May.  

Retailers will be permitted to reopen on May 11, but with limited capacity. Shippers should check with New Hampshire supply chain partners before confirming orders in the state.  

New Jersey  

Status: Restricted 

New Jersey has an open-ended stay-at-home order on the books. The Northeast state has been hit hard by the pandemic and shippers should check with New Jersey logistics partners regarding their capabilities.  

New Mexico 

Status: Partially Open 

The governor of New Mexico extended the stay-at-home order through May 15. However, some businesses, including retailers, were partially reopened at the end of April.  

Vendors need to ensure whether their partners in New Mexico are operational.  

New York 

Status: Restricted 

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that closes non-essential businesses through May 15.  

The epicenter for the US outbreak has restricted business so vendors should determine whether New York supply chain partners are operational before shipping.  

North Carolina 

Status: Restricted  

The state will continue to curb businesses’ operations through May 8, at which point some would be able to reopen, if cases continue to wane.  

It would be prudent to check with partners in the state before doing business in North Carolina.  

North Dakota 

Status: Open 

Most businesses are permitted to continue normal operations with some social distancing guidelines on May 1.  

Vendors should not expect much friction when shipping in or out of the state.  


Status: Partially Open 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine extended the state’s stay-at-home order through the end of May. However, many businesses will begin reopening by May 12.  

Vendors should ensure supply chain partners are operational before shipping orders to or from Ohio.  


Status: Mostly Open 

All Oklahoma businesses, except bars, are open with some social distancing restrictions.  

Vendors should not except many issues when shipping to or from Oklahoma.  


Status: Restricted 

Oregon will allow non-urgent procedures to resume on May 1, which means some restrictions are easing. However, many business’ operations are limited.  

Shippers should ensure their supply chain partners are online in Oregon.  


Status: Partially Open 

The Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will begin fully reopening the state beginning on May 8, but many businesses have begun to resume operations with some health guidelines.  

Vendors need to check with partners to see their operations are currently impacted.  

Rhode Island  

Status: Restricted 

Rhode Island will begin reopening on May 9 if new cases wane. This easing will be done in stages according to Governor Gina Raimondo 

Those businesses shipping in or out of Rhode Island should ensure their supply chain partners are online.  

South Carolina  

Status: Mostly Open 

The majority of businesses were permitted to resume on April 20, which includes retailers and department stores.  

Shippers should not anticipate many supply chain issues in South Carolina.  

South Dakota 

Status: Open 

South Dakota has not issued any stay-at-home guidance nor has restricted any business in the state.  


Status: Open 

Despite a stay-at-home order, which is in effect until May 30, most businesses in the state are reopen including retailers, gyms, and restaurants.  

Suppliers should not expect any operational restrictions in Tennessee.  


Status: Open 

Texas Governor Greg Abbot allowed the state’s stay-at-home order to expire, which has permitted all businesses to reopen.  

Some stores have occupancy restrictions, but those should not affect shippers in the state.  


Status: Open  

The state has not issued a formal stay-at-home order since the pandemic’s arrival in the US. Commerce should not be impacted.  


Status: Partially Open  

The state has a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order in effect until May 15. This mandate allows many businesses to reopen on May 4 while maintaining health guidelines.  

Shippers should check with supply chain partners to check their operational capabilities before completing orders in Vermont.  


Status: Restricted  

Governor Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order through June 10, which bans crowds of more than 10 people and limits businesses.  

Vendors need to ensure their logistics operations will not be disrupted when doing business in Virginia.  


Status: Restricted 

Most state parks and recreational areas will be reopened on May 5. But Washington’s stay-at-home order was extended to May 31.  

Suppliers should check with partners in the state before shipping in or out of Washington.  

West Virginia 

Status: Open 

The state’s stay-at-home order will expire on May 4 and business will resume with few restrictions.  

Shippers should not expect to deal with many interruptions in West Virginia.  


Status: Partially Open 

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 26. Some nonessential businesses are permitted to reopen on May 1.  

Vendors should ensure their partners are operational before shipping to or from Wisconsin.  


Status: Open 

The state has not issued a stay-at-home order and all businesses will be permitted to reopen May 1 with health restrictions.  

Shippers should not expect many issues when shipping to or from Wyoming.  

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