The temporary surcharges are a result of rail/intermodal operators implementing “aggregate surcharges”, trucking rates jumping over 50% in the past few months as well as ports’ infrastructures struggling to meet the significant increase in traffic while facing equipment shortages.
With warehouse capacity being extremely tight and an acute labor shortage due to increased safety regulations and restrictions on volumes of people working together as a result of Covid-19, congestion at the terminals has also been exacerbated by shortages of empty containers and chassis. In part, this is the result of the imbalance in import and export flows with bottlenecks at the terminals also being a factor.
The resulting emergency port surcharges will likely remain in place throughout the remainder of 2020 and rates will increase accordingly.
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