The shipping industry has been anything but normal the last five years. During this time period, U.S. importers have dealt with gridlock at the ports, bankrupt carriers, ransomware attacks, customer service failures and severe space shortages. The newest problem looming over the shipping industry is the lack of truck capacity.
U.S. importers moving cargo from the ports to inland locations are finding it difficult to meet their delivery schedules due to the lack of truck power. The problem is the same whether an importer is using their own trucker or relying on the ocean carrier’s house trucker to provide the delivery. Large importers are choosing to pay 8% – 15% more to their own contracted trucker hoping to increase the odds that sufficient truck power will be available. That is not the case for the average importer.
Small to medium size importers do not have the consistent volume to entice truckers, so they are still relying on the carrier’s house trucker to provide delivery. Carriers are walking away from existing and new opportunities if the truck power issue presents too big an obstacle for them to overcome. While all areas in the U.S. are experiencing truck capacity concerns, the Midwest has been hit the hardest. Industry experts are predicting the trucking problem will last the remainder of this year.
The volume increase predicted for this year’s peak shipping season was already going to provide challenges for importers. The trucking issue is only going to compound those challenges. Importers need to be smart and collaborate with their ocean carriers until the trucking issue eases. The trucking issue will eventually stabilize, solving many of the current issues. Unfortunately, history shows us that the trucking issue will be replaced with a new industry crisis presenting importers with additional challenges to overcome.
The International Housewares Shippers Association (IHSA) is a not-for-profit association formed to benefit companies belonging to the International Housewares Association (IHA). Through the combined leverage of members, IHSA negotiates freight contracts and partners with other logistics providers to lower supply chain costs.
IHSA’s main function is to negotiate the lowest possible transportation rates and provide the highest quality service for all participating members. Additionally, IHSA members receive valuable market intelligence and advice through regular newsletters and briefings.
IHA member companies looking to reduce their ocean freight costs or have questions about an ocean freight issue are encouraged to contact IHSA to learn about the program. Contact IHSA at +1-513-489-4743 and learn more on our website.