Trucking News: Trucking industry faces ‘stronger, longer’ peak season

Mike

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The trucking industry looks to be headed toward a “stronger and longer” peak season as containership backlog worsens at ports and capacity is unlikely to loosen soon, according to an industry analyst. Meanwhile, an economist said industry employment likely has reached pre-pandemic levels.

The shipments component of the Cass Freight Index rose by 12.3% in August, from the same month in 2020, but the growth is expected to moderate to the mid-single-digits through the remainder of the year. The moderation can be attributed to more difficult comparisons in the latter half of 2020. Tim Denoyer, analyst for ACT Research, is the author of the Cass Freight Index report.

“The recovery after a skid in June and July amid further slowdowns in rail volumes suggest trucking is picking up slack from the railroads, currently snarled by the chassis shortage,” Denoyer wrote. “But shipment volumes remain limited by the capacity of the freight network, as shown by the backlog of 125 or so containerships at anchor off North American ports.”

Southern California ports recently hit a new record of 49 containerships at anchor, and the backlog “clearly represents a stronger and longer than average peak season demand outlook.”

 
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Electric Chicken

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Only thing I've seen different lately is our big customer went from easy 20 mins in and out to almost an hour. The gates clog and there are more drivers of varying skill levels trying to park. It's a big company but a physically small place. OTR drivers who don't frequent it have a tough time.

We're rail and not ports though. I wouldn't want to be in that seaside rat race.
 
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389 Hood

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I used to load sea-going tanks with Jet and many times when we delivered to the docks, the wait was well over an hour. We would hire contract day carriers to help out so we could get all of the tanks to the dock on time. Those Goonion guys shut the gate at 17:00 even if you are in the middle of it.
 
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Electric Chicken

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Many of the 20 footers going over to the islands go on the chassis. They call them roll on/roll off. These little island ports don't have top picks and cranes in their ports. They are lucky to have yard mules to move things around.
A relatively small part of the overall market.
 
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Rigjockey

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I used to load sea-going tanks with Jet and many times when we delivered to the docks, the wait was well over an hour. We would hire contract day carriers to help out so we could get all of the tanks to the dock on time. Those Goonion guys shut the gate at 17:00 even if you are in the middle of it.
That sounds just like the port of Baltimore. Everyone off the property after midnight even though they have more unused real estate to park trucks than just about every truck stop.
 
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Rigjockey

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Many of the 20 footers going over to the islands go on the chassis. They call them roll on/roll off. These little island ports don't have top picks and cranes in their ports. They are lucky to have yard mules to move things around.
It's funny that you say that. When I hauled cans and was sitting there waiting for lazy assed top-lift driver, I was thinking why when they came up with the idea of containers did they not make it so cans would be loaded like a roll on/off system so we would not have to wait on these top-lift people.
Maybe they need to change the can design and also the chassis design.
Or maybe use a Landoll or a Landoll with rollers on it and chain the can down after it is loaded.
 
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Electric Chicken

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It's funny that you say that. When I hauled cans and was sitting there waiting for lazy assed top-lift driver, I was thinking why when they came up with the idea of containers did they not make it so cans would be loaded like a roll on/off system so we would not have to wait on these top-lift people.
Maybe they need to change the can design and also the chassis design.
Or maybe use a Landoll or a Landoll with rollers on it and chain the can down after it is loaded.
One nice thing about where I'm at is they have jockeys who stage chassis beside the train before it gets there, the crane operator loads them, and jockeys yank them and park them in spots. We don't wait to be loaded unless we're doing a rare chassis swap. In which case a jockey will grab an empty chassis while you bring the loaded one around to the crane. Crane picks the box off you, pull out, jockey drives under, crane drops it down, jockey puts it somewhere in the open for you to grab it after you ditched the empty.

This yard doesn't **** around either. They've stopped unloading the train for me to do chassis swaps.

Another time a jockey grabbed the piggypacker and lifted my box off the end of the train and put it on a chassis because I was supposed to take it that night, and the crane was on the other end working.

That would never happen in a large port though.
 
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