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No-let up in US freight crisis, says Woodland

[ July 27, 2021   //   ]

There has been little respite in the “perfect storm” that had gripped the freight industry in North America, reports UK forwarder, Woodland Group. The Essex-headquartered operator said that there continued to be sgnificant labour shortages (especially drivers), increased freight volumes into ports, reduced rail operations and lack of equipment (chassis) in key terminals and hubs were causing disruption, it says.

The driver shortage across the country had increased pay rates by an estimated 20% in the last year, inevitably resulting in significant price rises being introduced by carriers, truckers and logistics providers. Pay and freight rates are expected to increase further in the future, it adds.

“The market for trucking is now very much a spot rate market with truckers advising that rates will remain fluid and subject to change at any time. We are seeing suggested increases of 200% for motor moves and in excess of $1,000 per container emergency surcharges being implemented by carriers for moves by rail or motor.

“In addition, we continue to see delays with time taken to source chassis and trucks or to obtain appointments to return containers back to the terminals. As a result, additional time and costs for container rent, storage, demurrage and chassis fees are likely.

“Ocean and air services to/from the US continue to suffer from a strain on capacity, particularly on Trans-Pacific lanes, with some ocean carriers now not taking bookings until further notice to clear the backlog at ocean and rail terminals.”

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