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Industry Update: Prepare for Trucking Capacity Issues

Problems with trucking capacity are a concern across the US and you may have already experienced these issues. There remains an ongoing shortage of available drivers and the effects of constricted trucking capacity are far reaching.

Enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate began on December, 18, 2017. The ELD Mandate limits the driver to only 10 hours-in-service during a 24 hour period and this limitation has reduced capacity significantly overall.

The strong US economy has also led to increases in import volumes across the board, further compounding this situation. The unfortunate result are ongoing challenges with delivery times and increases in the cost of trucking and other fees, including:

  • An overall increase in delivery rates.
  • Increases in demurrage, detention and storage charges.
  • Potential driver layover fees which are a direct result of restrictions from the ELD Mandate.
  • Most truckers have reduced their allowed free time to 1 hour.
  • Afternoon deliveries are more difficult to schedule because of hours-in-service restrictions.

In an effort to keep you up-to-date on these and other factors that may affect the movement of your goods, we have compiled a list of actions you can take to help mitigate the situation.

  • Consider moving cargo via rail closer to the final delivery destination. If possible, accept your cargo at the destination rail ramp. This may provide a shorter transit time via truck and will help mitigate the 10 hour work day restriction.
  • Our industry sources recommend palletized cargo to shorten loading and unloading times. Keep in mind that free time is now 1 hour for most truckers.
  • Utilize warehouse facilities near ports of discharge to receive containers for further moves via inland truck. Trucks and drivers may be more readily available in these areas.
  • Industry sources recommend pre-booking inland trucking and local delivery two weeks in advance of vessel arrival.
  • Minimize driver wait times at your facilities. Some best practices you can implement include:
    • Make sure the load is ready at pickup time.
    • Be flexible around drop and hooks.
    • Maintain appropriate staff during shipping and receiving hours and establish flexible receiving times.
    • Provide adequate parking and other facilities.
  • Finally, review contingencies and be flexible.

We recognize that any disruption in your supply chain process is unpleasant news and as your logistics partner, we will continue to offer our support. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to contact our customer service team if you have questions regarding the status of your shipments.  

With regards,

Vantec Hitachi Transport System (USA), Inc.

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