At a Glance: Q1 2021 Logistics Bulletin Summary & Outlook

Posted on January 29, 2021

With the beginning of a new year, we take a moment to look back at market conditions across various modes of transportation, as well as forecasts for the new year. To download the complete Q1 2021 Logistics Bulletin click here. Listed below are some key takeaways.


  • The air cargo industry is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels in early to mid-2021
  • A continued lack of available capacity is anticipated in 2021
  • Air cargo spot rates should remain elevated and volatile over the first half of 2021
  • Jet fuel prices ended 2020 at a multi-month high


  • Global container volumes are expected to grow at a stronger pace than capacity in 2021
  • Spot market rates went through steep upticks in 2020 and contract rates are expected to rise sharply in 2021
  • Carrier on-time performance was low in Q4 2020, with some trade lanes hitting record lows
  • Bunker fuel prices experienced recovery in Q4 2020

Ground (NAM)

  • Spot market truck rates increased in the second half of 2020 and truckload spot and contract rates are expected to peak in early to mid-2021 and then fall
  • 2020 ended with extremely tight truck capacity and these conditions will most likely continue in 2021
  • Truckload volumes are forecast to grow in 2021, reaching 2019 levels
  • US on-highway diesel fuel prices are predicted to rise from pandemic lows in 2021

To download the full logistics bulletin click here.

Contributors: April King, Natalie Brandlova