The Logistics News That Shaped 2020

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor ·

December 14, 2020

Every year at this time, group news editor Jeff Berman combs through the stack of news that was reported, written and posted by the Logistics Management editorial staff over the course of the year to create the following list.

Instead of using page view analytics to arrive at a “most popular” list, Berman believes that these are the stories that best summarize the wild ride of 2020 in logistics and transportation management. “This is the news that tells the story of 2020,” he says.

1.) USMCA is signed into law, freight interests applaud the new deal

As was expected following both the United States House of Representatives and Senate each voting to move forward with the United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) agreement, as a replacement for its predecessor the North American Free Trade Agreement, USMCA was formally signed into law by President Trump in January.


2.) LM reader survey takes deep dive into the impact of coronavirus on supply chains

With the coronavirus, or COVID-19, dominating just about every facet of everyday life, its impact on all things supply chain can’t be understated. That was made clear in a recent Logistics Management readership survey of more than 120 buyers and users of freight transportation and logistics services.


3.) FMCSA issues long-awaited  final hours-of-service rule

The long-awaited motor carrier hours-of-service (HOS) final rule was issued in mid-May by the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


4.) COVID-19 shift to major surge in residential deliveries is affecting operations for parcel carriers

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the playbook for how global transportation and logistics bellwether FedEx is approaching capacity and management for its SmartPost offering, its last-mile delivery service partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS).


5.) Resilience Tested: Logisticians adapt to new realities

The 31st annual Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) State of Logistics report released today says the “shocked economy will shrink this year, but the adapting is already under way” as logisticians adjust to new realities of transportation planning and execution.


6.) YRC’s $700 million lifeline changes LTL landscape for rival carriers, shippers

Trucking’s competitive dynamics changed mightily on July 1 with the U.S. government’s infusion of $700 million in a badly needed financial lifeline for ailing trucking giant YRC Worldwide.


7.)  Freight railroad stakeholders herald 40th anniversary of the Staggers Act

With mid-October marking the 40th anniversary of the landmark Staggers Act, various freight railroad stakeholders have banded together to take a look back at how it has fundamentally shaped the sector since it was enacted.


8.) National Freight Strategic Plan is issued by U.S. Department of Transportation

As the current federal transportation authorization—the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act—was set to expire at the end of September, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP) in advance of the expiration date. 


9.) Biden’s transportation team sees “real prospects” for major infrastructure plan in 2021

Despite intransigence from the Trump administration, John Porcari, a key member of President-elect Joe Biden’s transportation team, is promising a swift and smooth transition when the Biden administration takes the power levers in Washington on January 20.


10.) Shipping and Packages growth cannot save the day for the USPS

A recurring narrative for the United States Postal Service (USPS) over the last several quarters: Even though the organization continues to fight an uphill battle, as evidenced by ongoing steep quarterly losses, its Shipping and Packages Group continues to see increases. This was evident in its fiscal year 2020 results.



About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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