Welcome to the November 2014 Logistics Link, the MIQ Logistics monthly newsletter
The truck driver shortage is worsening, threatening the trucking industry’s ability to serve the nation’s supply chains. The shortage will almost certainly cause fleets’ costs to increase and shippers’ rate to continue to rise.
The announced levels from the carriers are listed below.
As we have chronicled here in recent days, U.S. agricultural shippers are demanding that a solution to the West Coast dockside labor problem be made a national priority. They argue – and quite rightly from our point of view – that the lack of progress in contract talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) threaten the President’s own National Export Initiative.
“The LEI picked up in September, after no change in August, and the strengths among its components have been very widespread over the past six months,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “The outlook for improving employment and further income growth are expected to support the moderate expansion in the U.S economy for the remainder of the year.” – Conference Board
The November 17th, port congestion surcharge previously announced last Friday has been postponed by ocean carriers. This halt to the surcharge implementation has come after FMC review, and other contributing factors. The postponed surcharge would have affected cargo moving both eastbound and westbound from West coast ports.
The Pacific Maritime Association said work slowdowns continued in the northern ports, while the International Longshore and Warehouse Union was not dispatching sufficient skilled labor to handle cargo volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach.
Major U.S. retailers don’t expect U.S. West Coast port congestion to hamper getting Black Friday products on the shelves, but they’re far less confident on their ability to keep stores stocked through the entire holiday season.
Home Depot doesn’t expect supply chain trouble leading up to Black Friday, but the retailer is “concerned over the long-haul here the West Coast ports, the rail situation, the driver shortage, all look to create uncertainty in terms of transportation rates going forward.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.5% in October, following a revised decline of 0.8% during the previous month. In October, the index equaled 132.1 (2000=100), which was the second highest level on record after August.
Compared with October 2013, the SA index increased 4.5%, up from September’s 2.9% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.2%.
Supply chain disruption caused by delays from congestion, chassis shortages and labor slowdowns at West Coast ports is trickling inland, shippers at the National Industrial Transportation League’s annual conference here say. That’s forcing shippers to rethink how they move goods to and from the ports and even between inland points, often on the fly as they try to meet peak-season customer demand.