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2/14/2019
U.S. Trucking Capacity Update

The trucking situation in the U.S. remains difficult and is disrupting daily operations. Many cities are still heavily impacted by tight capacity leading to delays, chassis shortages and higher trucking prices that vary from region to region.
U.S. trucking capacity

All markets continue to be affected and experience delayed pick-ups and deliveries. Many times this limited availability of trucking capacity greatly increases cost, especially in emergency situations. This is why pre-planning is vital.

The limit of 1 hour free time for container loading or unloading implemented by trucking companies on March 1, 2018 is still in effect. Shipments taking more than 1 hour are charged at a rate of $100 per hour. Many locations have also implemented a congestion surcharge. Most carriers are now limiting their rate validity to as few as 10 days to keep up with the fluctuating market and capacity.

Contributing factors:

  • Shortage of drivers and chassis supply.
  • Increased wait times at the ports and ramps. 
  • Limited free time at U.S. rail ramps.

With the above noted challenges, there is an increased risk of demurrage, detention, storage and dry run charges.

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:

  • Properly plan and create contingency plans. Provide partners with adequate lead time.
  • Increase communication with transportation partners and work with partners that have a proven track record to help alleviate some of the risk.
  • Be flexible with warehouse appointment times.
  • Consider adding evening and/or weekend hours. 
  • Use specialty transportation partners when needed, like drayage-specific freight brokers who only focus on drayage and have a pool of qualified drivers who are prepared to deal with the issues surrounding the ports.

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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Anita Whiteside
Public Relations USA