Friday, June 3, 2011

Dialing for Diesels

Increasing freight volume chasing a tighter trucking pool creates a capacity squeeze.

It’s getting hard to find a truck. In industry after industry, increased economic activity, rising transportation costs, and tightened availability from the carrier shakeout during the downturn are translating to a squeeze on shippers. New Federal hours-of-service requirements may keep drivers off the road, adding to the crunch.

In the world of chemical companies, several bulk carriers have reported 10-20 percent turnbacks, where they receive orders from shippers, but can’t take them because they don’t have the capacity to cover the load, reported Chemical Business.

The nursery industry has been hard hit by lack of trucking capacity. Load volume continues to set records, and capacity remains tight in most markets, with a load-to-truck ratio of 10 loads per available truck nationwide. With perishable live product, one anonymous grower reported “I have loads sitting on the dock for days while we look for trucks. I am at the point where I will pay anything to service the customer…but there is always someone more desperate willing to pay more.”

Throughout the truckload and LTL field, market conditions are worsening for U.S. shippers as truck capacity tightens and fuel prices and surcharges rise, according to the FTR Shippers’ Condition Index. The Longbow Research Truckload Barometer was up 46 percent year-over-year for April, forecasting increasingly tight truck capacity. The weekly index showed capacity tightest in the Northeastern states of NY, PA, and NJ, followed by the Central South and Southeast.

How can you ensure your goods don’t get caught in the squeeze? Web-based technology allows shippers to electronically post their requirements to select carriers and efficiently match capacity to their needs. Talk to your logistics partner.

Kirk Shearer
TOTALogistix, Inc.
1-800-989-0054 x103

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