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Overcoming LTL Chicago Freight Shipping Regardless of Hardship

September 11, 2020

How Our LTL Chicago Services Weathered COVID-19

Chicago serves as one of Clear Lane Freight’s primary transportation hubs, delivering both localized and nationwide freight services – but as with almost every industry the COVID-19 pandemic has created some changes and obstacles for us to overcome. Being one of our most important areas of distribution, Chicago has seen many changes within recent months due to the pandemic, and we’ve responded by adapting to the changing circumstances. These changes have included additions to our network of agents and use of faster modes of transportation.  From Chicago we primarily service the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan ,Missouri, and Kansas. The lanes that we utilize within the Chicago freight infrastructure serve our clients nationwide.

Chicago Coronavirus Lockdown – First Phase of Shifts

During the middle of March of this year we began to see lockdowns occur throughout the country leading to a number of complications within the 3PL and LTL freight industry. Problems in the supply chain began to trickle down to the logistics sector. For example, around this time without a full workforce there were gridlocks occurring at major ports. This in turn created a backlog for other transportation sectors such as long-distance intermodal on which Chicago heavily relies. Just like the major ports, Chicago’s intermodal system does not have its full workforce back yet. Additionally, the slowdown of imports at the border has put additional stress on the system as delays from before the lockdown are being prioritized. As soon as intermodal freight opened back up for transport container unloading, an enormous influx of containers  previously stuck at the border put immense pressure on the system. This has led to a shift in how we organize logistics for the area, but thankfully has enabled us to remain at competitive rates as it pertains to intermodal transportation. ltl-freight-shipping-chicago-intermodal

Changing Customer Needs & Priorities

With so many immediate changes occurring within every company’s supply chain, Clear Lane received an influx of inquiries about our services. Businesses that had previously relied on LTL shipping or businesses that were looking for an alternative to the rising cost of full truck load freight were searching for an economy full truck load option. Being extremely mindful of the needs and requirements of our existing LTL customer base, we recognized the unique nature of our LTL services and opted to prioritize the long history of reliability we have with our valuable LTL customers. What make our services and the relationship with our closely valued clients unique is the economy pricing of our long-term LTL freight services. When quoting delivery times to a new Clear Lane Freight customer, we do our best to provide a best and worst case scenario regarding possible delivery dates. By ensuring the understanding that we are not an expedited shipper but a long-term, economy, and reliable one, we can accurately communicate to our customers that we are an economy carrier with non-time sensitive materials. Because of this we have been able to remain one of the lowest cost providers. By staying the course and remaining true to our customers, as well as adapting to new hardships, we’re exceeding expectations in light of current events. Newly expedited train use is cutting transit times, a stark contrast to the rising cost and unpredictability of other 3PL niches. Thanks to our flexibility in dealing with major roadblocks, shipments are now reliably arriving on time or a day sooner than estimated delivery times.

Chicago Freight Shipping Industry

One of the major obstacles facing freight companies in Chicago is the immediate and rising cost of both intermodal and full truck load shipping. Thanks to an exclusive ongoing contract with intermodal providers, we’ve been able to keep our cost increases down when compared to companies that don’t have such a measure. Although there’s been a slight increase and adjusted contracts for our clients due to the overall rising cost of intermodal freight, our highly competitive economy rates have allowed us to expand our clientele and focus on several major sectors. Some of the largest increases in freight in the last several months can be attributed to a surge of new construction and remodeling occurring in the US, especially on the east coast. Some of the exciting new opportunities and partnerships we’ve branched into include construction materials such as imported tile, boutique plumbing and bathroom hardware such as vanities, with a strong emphasis on distribution and imports. Having the support of our affiliate Estes, we have the full utilization of technology, resources, and marketing needed to weather turbulent markets all the while expanding. In our opinion, many of these issues may not ease up until 2021, but regardless of the hardships presented to the freight shipping and 3PL industries we’ve been able to continue delivering quality services to our customer base at the incredible economy rates we’re known for. We encourage you to see our freight shipping tools that include a transit time calculator and shipment tracking. For a quote on our services today, contact us HERE.
Article Name
Overcoming LTL Chicago Freight Shipping Regardless of Hardship
The COVID-19 pandemic has created obstacles in almost every industry and freight shipping is no exception. Find out how we overcame our biggest roadblocks.
Publisher Name
Clear Lane Freight Systems Inc.
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