Capacity Crisis

Business owner confused about intermodal capacity crisis

What's going on down there? I have been on the phone for days and can't find a truck!

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not the only one asking this question. There has been a huge capacity crisis in the southeast markets when it comes to intermodal shipments, with carriers booked out up to two weeks in advance... and there seems to be no end in sight.

What  exactly is a capacity crisis?

Have you ever seen the movie "The Perfect Storm"?  Essentially, the film showcases the chaos that erupts due to the dangerous convergence of multiple storm elements. This is what has happened with the ports in the south- the elements of a minor storm building up to become a monster.

  1. New "Super Ships" have been able to sail into the deep water ports of Savannah and others increasing volume.
  2. The ports were expecting ship work times on the Super Ships of 12 hours but times have taken 18 or more hours to complete these ships backing up other vessels that were inbound.
  3. The two hurricanes that came up the east coast shut down the port terminals further delaying imports.
  4. The ELD mandate had a lot of companies holding out hoping that this would get postponed by the new administration. Due to non-compliance they have had a reduction in fleet capacity.
  5. Drivers that refused to switch to ELD's have parked their trucks and gone to get work elsewhere.
  6. The holidays closed the ports and drivers took more time to spend with their families this year than on average.
  7. "Snowmageden 2018" hit the east coast ports shutting them down delaying imports again.
  8. Winter storm Inga just hit the southeast shutting down warehouses preventing deliveries, causing dry runs, and forcing loads to reschedule to the next few days.

As a result of all of these coming together, the "perfect storm" formed and containers have been sitting on the ports for weeks at a time. Demurrage charges are mounting for so many customers. Even steamship lines are paying higher rates to 3PL and non-asset carriers to try and find capacity for them.

How can I get my containers covered and get capacity?

  • Secure capacity early- well before the container arrives. Containers are on the water for more than three weeks at a time. This is the perfect time to secure capacity before it is gone!
  • Send your drayman or carrier the rate confirmation including the vessel details so that they dedicate capacity to that load when it becomes available.

At America 1, we are increasing capacity by adding more programs to bring drivers back to intermodal. Tag programs, lease purchasing programs, repair financing options, and load matching programs to get drivers from other markets running our loads.

Give us a call at 904.549.6950 to discuss how you can partner with America 1 to secure tomorrow's capacity, today.


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