USA – Shortage of truck capacity

Client and Shippers need to be aware that there is currently pressure on the North American intermodal market partly due to a shortage of truck capacity.

Recent developments such as increased regulatory control of driver hours by electronic means (ELD’s), lagging wages, driver shortages due to retirement and better work opportunities, and increased imports are the most significant factors. Additionally, in certain geographies, weather such as hurricanes in the South East and Gulf, severe cold/winter conditions across much of the upper tier of the country, have also contributed to the difficulties. In addition, the rail system is becoming more congested due to containers not being taken timely off the ramps, in addition to train lengths being shortened due to the severe cold.

Shipping lines are redirecting resources towards seeking increased truck capacity and dispatching containers earlier to improve our chances of getting truck power at the appropriate time. Although we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact, delays are unavoidable and as such extra allowances should be considered when planning lead times.

Note that all shipping lines are impacted from these issues and it may take several months for this situation to improve.


If you have any questions regarding the above please feel free to contact your account manager.






Empty Container returns direct to Terminal

Dear Client,

An increasing number of containers are being designated by Shipping Lines for empty return direct into stevedore terminals (CTO’S) rather than the usual Empty Container Parks (ECP’S). This is placing extra pressure on all transport companies operationally as outlined below:

  • Slot Availability not coinciding with drop off is not always available or possible
  • Double Handling (Staging) of containers due to less empty slot availability
  • No show penalties for missed or late dehire which are not charged by ECP’s
  • Longer truck turnarounds in comparison to ECP’s
  • Increased chance of Shipping Line detention fees

Each empty container to be delivered direct to the terminal will also require an electronic Port Receival advice (PRA) to be lodged prior to drop off. Transport companies are now introducing  fees for direct dehire to shipping terminals and PRA lodgement.


We will request de-hire to ECP’s if possible however there will be occasions where we are forced to de-hire direct to terminal and we unfortunately have no control over this.  Unfortunately this operational change will require the introduction of new fees as a cost recovery measure.

If you have any questions regarding this please contact your Account Manager.



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