As you are most likely aware, the transportation and logistics industry is in the midst of a very challenging time due to truck power shortages. This correspondence is our effort to provide you with information as to why this is occurring, what the specific and immediate challenges are, and how you can anticipate the effect on your business.
First and foremost, it is important to know that this is an entire industry wide issue. The truck power shortage is impacting all steamship lines. We are doing our best to make the difficulties seamless to our customers; however that is becoming less and less possible. The specific issues resulted by the “truck power shortage” are as follows:
1. Driver shortages: In the past two years a high percentage of drivers have exited the intermodal drayage industry for other more profitable moves. This is due to stricter government regulations associated with reduced drive times behind the wheel and the increased costs and certification necessary to handle hazardous materials over the road. Expanding on the reduction of hours a truck driver is allowed behind the wheel. Drivers are limited to 11 hours behind the wheel. Prior to the regulation, typically drivers would travel 200 miles and make two moves per day. Now, they can generally only make one per day, especially given the more often than not delays at the port or rail terminal.
2. Congestion at most of the infrastructures: The volumes into the rail and port terminals across North America have significantly increased of late and are anticipated to remain high for the foreseeable future. This reduction in fluidity makes it more difficult for the industry to secure sufficient truckers as well as chassis. As congestion increases in all aspect of the movement of Intermodal traffic, this limits the amount of turns a driver can make, lowering his salary per week.
This inability to turn units effectively will obviously impact costs.
3. Safety regulations: As mentioned in point 1, the government regulation of the trucking industry has intensified in the last several years. One direct link to trucker availability issues is the increased cost truckers and their companies have to pay in order to handle hazardous loads. Drivers, as well at their companies, are required to pay higher insurance premiums as well as be certified to handle these moves. The premiums for both have increase by more than 30% the past several years.
Our goal remains the same, to provide our customers with safe quality service. At this time, however, due to the challenges within the industry, we find it only prudent to inform you that you may need to expect potential delivery delays and the costs associated with those delays. It may also be necessary for us to make rate adjustments in order to satisfy commercial service commitments.
We appreciate your patience during this time and want you to know that we will continue to work as diligently as possible to deliver cargo as quickly as possible.