Over the last several months of 2017, we saw truck capacity tighten significantly. Many industry analysts see this trend continuing. You can find out more here.
I tend to ignore industry experts who spread panic over truck capacity. My best advice is that your ability to secure trucks is largely in your hands. I see many shippers taking steps to ensure capacity. Here are a few ideas:
- Plan ahead. If you know that the load is coming, please let us know with as much advance time as possible. A good example would be import loads where the cargo is on a vessel and scheduled to arrive within a certain date range. If we pre-book the work, we can set aside capacity for you.
- Have a realistic view of rates. If tight capacity remains, trucking rates will increase. Rates pulled back during the energy recession as supply was plentiful. Expect rates to increase as the market tightens. Much of this is cyclical and is governed by the simple rule of supply and demand.
- Be ready when the truck arrives. Especially as the ELD mandate takes hold and the industry is playing by one set of rules, it will be clear that “time is money.” Help control your costs and maximize our productivity by having the cargo ready to load when the truck arrives. Look for detention costs to increase and truckers to avoid locations where inefficiency is chronic.
- Create capacity by extending the day. Shippers are opening later to match permanent extended port hours. Also, we’ve had tremendous success with shippers/consignees who are willing to load/receive on weekends. Extended loading hours go a long way toward creating capacity.
We’ve all been through industry cycles before. Truck capacity, to a large extent, is in your hands by remaining a shipper of choice. If you execute well, you will not feel the capacity crunch!
Want to find out more?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.676.1111
-Brian Fielkow, CEO, Jetco Delivery