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The talk of freight, logistics, and supply chain publications has been port congestion. It’s a trending topic and issue for several shippers. From the recent Chinese Lunar New Year to the Covid-19 pandemic, several factors have contributed to the congestion in 2020 and into this year. Port congestion is not over yet for America’s largest gateways. Record import levels could extend through the first half of 2021, according to the National Retail Foundation (NRF). In this post, our team covers the cause of this congestion, the services that can help bypass a possible jam, and our team’s tips and tricks.
What’s the cause of this Congestion?
You could say there’s been a lack of planning and forecasting. This season has been more stringent than others because of the pandemic, excess volume, and the vessel alliances omitting and consolidating ports. For various reasons, it’s creating this large logjam.
Southern California Ports
The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have been accentuated with the rapid increase in imports since June of 2021. Some difficulties they have encountered are vessel bunching at the port, congestion at the marine terminals, lack of operators and chassis, and warehouse capacity. These ports have both announced initiatives that they will enact to decrease congestion at the terminals currently and moving forward throughout the year.
New York and New Jersey Ports
The New York and New Jersey ports have been experiencing similar issues as the Southern California ports. These two are the largest US gateways receiving imports of eCommerce goods, personal protective equipment (PPE), and home improvement goods during the pandemic.
Some Tips For Navigating Port Congestion:
Can Transloading Help?
Transloading can be great, especially in Seattle/Tacoma, to certain parts of the US. There are direct points from Seattle/Tacoma to Chicago, Minneapolis, and the Ohio Valley that can offer faster transit times. Domestic trailers move daily, versus maybe weekly for ocean containers, so congestion inland isn’t as bad for domestic containers. Often transloading pricing is very competitive from port to door. Learn more about Taylor’s port-to-door services here.
Use an Asset-Based Drayage Team
A partner that owns its chassis can be ideal when dealing with port congestion. Rentals can become unpredictable when ports are jammed; partnering with an asset-based provider will help boost capacity.
Remain in close contact with your 3PL!
This way, you are notified immediately of any opportunities for getting your product where it needs to go.
If you are currently importing cargo via the US Port terminals and are tired of delays, inbox Team Taylor; we are happy to work out a different routing plan and schedule with you to optimize your shipping practices. Our team is vastly experienced with imports and exports and is well equipped to create a solution plan for your company. Please fill out the form below to chat with us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Transloading services are an essential part of the supply chain, primarily when shipping with intermodal drayage. When cargo is moved from rail to a truck (or the other way around), the transloading area is where an experienced team uses forklifts, cranes, and other equipment to ensure a seamless transfer of freight. Often, shippers want to combine the economic advantages of rail shipping with the flexibility of over-the-road trucking, using affordable rail shipping for the long haul and trucks for final delivery. Here’s our drayage team tips on how to save:
But First, Products That Can Be Transloaded
Standard Rail Commodities: Lumber, metals, paper, rebar bundles, palletized products
Liquids: Ethanol, biodiesel
Oversized: Transformers, wind blades, and machinery
Bulk: Sand, plastic pellets, food product
Service Sensitive/Critical: Auto parts, parcel, frozen food, and perishables
Everything: Bricks, floor tile, coil, solar panels and nearly everything else
Don’t waste container space! Abiding by container rules and regulations, strive to consolidate as much freight as possible into a larger container. For example, the contents of three 40 ft containers can fit into two 53 footers. Thus, reducing your overall costs significantly..
Check Your Container Cartons
If your container is hauling more cartons than the allocated number, you could incur extra fees. Stay up to date on regulations to avoid paying more.
Try To Palletize Your Products
To save space, putting your product on pallets always helps. When freight arrives at the transloading area, palletize cargo to make distribution handling more efficient.
Partner With A 3PL
Taylor has a full drayage team of transportation professionals that know what to look for to help you cut costs and streamline your supply chain with transloading.
Drayage provides a critical link between container terminals and customers, railroads, and other facilities—driver’s play an essential role in the fabric of port operations, the economy, and air quality. Navigating terminals can be difficult on the best day and can become extremely difficult as rules can change from terminal-to-terminal or even hour-to-hour. To navigate the ports effectively – and avoid wasting time, shippers need to ensure their drayage carriers employ highly experienced drivers.
Each terminal has its own rules on container pickup, driver processes, appointment booking, hours of operation, chassis usage, etc. Your drayage partner needs to understand the rules of each port to ensure efficient pick up or drop off.
Experience, Experience, Experience!
Drayage is more than showing up and retrieving a container. Drivers must have intimate knowledge of the terminals, while also having the ability to adapt to daily rule changes. It can be difficult enough to locate the container, saying nothing of the challenges associated with getting in the right gate in the correct line on time. Without this knowledge, drivers will log unproductive hours just navigating port complexity – costing you both time and money. An experienced driver is more than getting in and out of the terminals quickly. Experienced drayage drivers act as an extension of your business and find ways to save you money.
Along with being a problem solver and a delegator being a fleet manager entails much more than ensuring your fleet is up to par. It requires you to be an excellent communicator, a multitasker, a mechanical expert, an administrator, and a negotiator. If an obstacle arises, it is the fleet manager that finds the solution. If a driver has an issue, the fleet manager delegates the task. For some, embodying all of these characteristics is challenging. For others, combining all of these skills into one job title is nearly unattainable. But, there is always room for improvement in the world of management; our team compiled a list of tips for successful fleet management.
Safety, Safety, Safety!
Truck driving requires a lot of focus, good health, and defensive driving practices, when you’re on the road for long hours at a time, the risk for an accident rises. When factoring in weather conditions and traffic, and it’s clear that drivers need to stay alert no matter the circumstances. It’s up to the fleet manager to stress the importance of safe driving. By rewarding safe driving practices, scheduling regular safety briefings, and creating/updating protocols, it will help drivers stay mindful.
Embrace New Technology
Having the latest and greatest technology had become all the more critical than ever. ELD mandates, driver safety, and changing laws are just a few reasons why it’s crucial for fleet managers to welcome new technology. Efficient fleet managers not only accept the change, but they also embrace technologies and welcome whatever new challenges come with it.
Keep an Eye on Cost
Staying on track of all fleet management costs helps to control budgets. Fleet management operates with costs such as fuel, drivers’ salaries, vehicle maintenance, wages, and various other business costs. For an effective fleet manager, it is crucial to look for possible savings and avoid unnecessary losses across the business. Fleet managers should look for alternative ways of saving money, for example, optimizing driver routes to increase sustainability and cut fuel costs.
Definition – Drayage is typically used to describe the trucking service from a port to a rail ramp, warehouse, or other destination.
History – The word drayage originally stems from the term dray, a low cart without fixed sides that is used for carrying heavy loads a short distance. Although a dray is defined as a cart historically, a dray may be any vehicle used to transport heavy loads a short distance, such as a truck or sled.
Intermodal Rail Ramp Drayage
Taylor established interchange agreements with major rail ramps and steamship lines for pickup and delivery of Cincinnati drayage. The Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have been ranked the busiest inland port in the nation, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Data Center.
Drayage is a term used to describe the moving of container freight over short distances, mainly in the same city between rials facilities, ports or other shipping hubs.
Drayage moves can include:
1. Moving cargo from port to port or rail to rail
2. Port to the rail yard
3. Port to warehouse/shipping hub
4. Facility to the port, rail yard, or another facility
The history of Drayage
In history, the term drayage originally stems from the term dray, a low cart without fixed sides that could be used for carrying heavy loads a short distance. Although dray is defined as a cart historically, dray may be any vehicle used to transport heavy loads a short distance, including a sled, wagon, or carriage.
In the early years, drayage services were considered a risky move for shippers and IMC’s. Today, a majority of that risk is gone, and rail intermodal is an essential part of most supply chains’ transportation portfolio. Drayage services have proven its value, experienced growth, and earned the respect of the Class I railroads as well as world-class shippers. It stands on the threshold of a new ear of growth as challenges mount for long-haul truckloads. While a lot of long-haul conversions have taken place, regional opportunities in the east are proving drayage services are not just a mode for cross-country freight moves.
Ultimately, any successful logistics operation starts with proper planning; let our team be your drayage advisor. Being in Cincinnati Taylor is located next to two major inland ports that service the entire midwest region. In addition to our local ports, our fleet also services Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Chicago. From picking up freight and moving it to the next hub, Taylor drayage services are an efficient solution for your intermodal strategy.