USA trucking as an industry is currently experiencing the most significant adjustment since the 2008 diesel fuel cost surge. Electronic Driver Logs (ELD), a diminishing pool of drivers and increase of e-commerce volume are a few of the influences that have pushed trucking services demand past the industries current capacity. Compounding the challenge - ocean ports, railroad ramps, airline cargo facilities & CFS terminal operators are all struggling to cope with the increased commerce throughput.
Drivers leaving the industry and the limited pool of replacement drivers led the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) to rank driver shortage as the number one issue facing US trucking industry for 2018. As quoted by ATRI: “Though it is a perennial top industry issue, the Driver Shortage ranked as the top concern this year for the first time since 2006.” Shortage of drivers, shortage of tractors/trailers, terminal congestion, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) implementation are all contributing to a challenging industry and business environment.
Additionally, impacted by increased commercial shipping volumes are ocean shipping lines where demand for containerized space also exceeds current capacity. Transatlantic eastbound vessels in particular are overbooked by at least one week and in many cases more than a week.
Market conditions vary across the States. Southeast including northern Florida has proven to be the most space/resource challenged followed by Chicago & Midwest. Expectation is that this market condition will continue through this year’s summer months.
The relevant situation now transitions: How can we at Woodland together with our customers manage the market change and maintain supply chain integrity? Effective and timely communication is more important than ever.
Notify Woodland of pick-up and delivery details in advance as much as possible. Historically an FCL export booking communicated on Monday ready for loading/pick-up on Thursday/Friday was very ok. This is no longer the case. Truckers and vessel operators require at least one calendar week in advance for most markets. Hazardous material bookings require closer cooperation including providing full IMO/MSDS details.
Consider loading/receiving time flexibility. Woodland and our partner truckers will always try our best to accommodate specific time windows but flexible time is attractive to more trucker service providers.
Please contact your local Woodland branch or sales contact for specific details and overall market trends.
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