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Various Factors Contributing to a Tightening Intermodal Drayage Market

Over the last few weeks operations within MIQ Logistics have been experiencing a tightening of the intermodal drayage market, especially throughout certain regions of the U.S.   Drayage demand is currently outpacing capacity, and there are several factors, both new and old that are contributing to increased pricing and equipment shortages.

Inbound Container Volumes:  According to an article published by the National Retail Federation U.S. imports are expected to reach 20.1 million TEU in 2017; which is a 7% YOY increase from 2016.  In addition to the record of 1.8 million TEU in August, there were also five of seven months in which the TEU count reached 1.7 million TEU or higher.

ELD (Electronic Logistics Device) Rule Mandate: On Monday, December 18th the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Mandate as part of MAP-21 was implemented. This mandate has the potential to tighten truckload capacity even further as it requires truck drivers to replace paper logs with electronic logging. Wait times that drivers may experience at U.S. ports, or chassis yards will have a direct impact on a drivers’ available hours-of-service.  Frequently asked questions pertaining to the ELD mandate can be found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.

Weather:  Last week the winter storm ‘Grayson’ (known as a bomb cyclone) created blizzard conditions throughout the eastern seaboard. Port terminals from Charleston,  SavannahBrunswick, Richmond, and Boston all experienced some closures or delays resulting from the storm. Some intermodal terminals reported reduced speed within their network and/or heavy congestion.

These contributing factors have resulted in volatility in current market pricing, causing drayage providers to increase their rates. MIQ Logistics will continue to work closely with our drayage partners to secure necessary capacity and is closely monitoring any pricing fluctuations. While MIQ continues to do our best to mitigate increases, we do want to keep our customers informed that there may be some increases in drayage pricing in the near term.

MIQ will continue to monitor capacity and as we receive communication of potential regional delays, we will provide these updates as they are available. For more information, please contact your local MIQ Logistics representative.