Customer reports, news and press releases.

U.S. trucking capacity update

The trucking situation in the U.S. continues to deteriorate. Several cities are heavily impacted by tight capacity leading to delays, chassis shortages and higher trucking prices that vary from region to region.

Currently the main affected markets are New York, Savannah, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Charleston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Houston, but this can change anytime.

Effective March 1, 2018, trucking companies are implementing a limit of 1 hour free time for container loading or unloading. Shipments taking more than 1 hour will be charged at a rate of $100 per hour. This is due to the reduced hours of service for truck drivers. Also, one ocean carrier has implemented a $300 Emergency Intermodal Surcharge effective March 16, 2018 for Chicago, Houston, Savannah, Memphis and Columbus.

Contributing factors

  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELD‘s) – a new federal mandate went into effect December 18, 2017 which created additional cost leading to reduced trucking capacity as truckers had to lower their commitments to meet hours of service requirements. Full enforcement will start in April.
  • Shortage of Drivers and Chassis Supply.
  • Increased freight demand especially eCommerce and rising fuel cost.
  • Limited free time at U.S. rail ramps.
  • Many trucking companies are getting out of the business.
  • Winter Weather – Midwest, Ohio Valley, Southeast, and Gulf markets experienced severe weather leading to several port closures and delayed openings. This contributed further to a backlog and reduced trucking availability.
With the above noted challenges, there is an increased risk of demurrage, detention, storage and dry run charges.

Draymen are now booked out anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the market. These estimates are based on cargo moving within a 200 mile radius, cargo that is nonhazardous and not over weight. Deliveries over 200 - 250 miles, can require layovers and that increases the total drayage cost.

As capacity has continued to tighten, drivers are more inclined to cherry pick what loads they wish to handle. Hazmat cargo, over weight cargo, cargo destined to shippers or consignees that are known to have excessive wait times are being avoided by drivers.

How to maintain service levels in a tight transportation market

  • Be flexible with warehouse appointment times.
  • Consider adding evening and/or weekend hours.
  • Increase communication with transportation partners.
  • Provide partners with adequate lead time.
  • Act quickly – trucks get booked fast.

Please reach out to your local DACHSER contact if you have any questions. We will continue to find solutions to deliver your cargo as expeditiously as possible.

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