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November 12 2018

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14 The Journal of Commerce | November 12 2018 www.joc.com International Maritime shortage is not an actual shortage, but rather the inefficient use of driv- ers' available service hours because of delays at marine terminals, rail ramps, and congested roadways. Warehouses are also a bottleneck, and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) are hearing that it is they, rather than the drivers, who are becom- ing expendable. "We will give up a bad customer for a good driver any day of the week," said Mike Regan, co-founder and chief of relationship development at TranzAct Tech- nologies. "If you are an occasional, inefficient shipper, be prepared to pay more," he said. Freight volumes have increased this year, and this is having an im- pact on cargo-handling at the ports and throughout the inland transpor- tation network. US containerized imports through August were 4.8 percent higher than during the same period last year, according to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit. Inter- national cargo accounts for about 50 percent of intermodal freight. Intermodal volume increased 4.7 percent in the third quarter versus the same period last year, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. These growth rates, while positive, are not enough on their own to cause bottlenecks in MORE MONEY FOR infrastructure, additional assets, and higher freight rates won't solve the freight bottle- necks plaguing US ocean shipping and distribution; only a focus on the freight-handling inefficiencies that cause these problems can do that. The tight capacity conditions that have caused truck and inter- modal rail rates to soar this year will moderate in 2019 because of global economic forces. But trucker delays at marine terminals, railyards, and distribution warehouses will continue because of inefficient freight-movement in the supply chain, consultants and industry executives said at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Oak Brook, Illinois, in October. The warning signs are every- where. Ships are bunching at ports and trains at intermodal ramps, resulting in trucker delays at those facilities. Rail service issues begin at the ports and intermodal ramps and continue throughout the North American networks because of inconsistent container-handling pro- cesses at the railyards, inadequate train velocity, and weather events such as hurricanes, snowstorms, and frigid winter temperatures. Chassis shortages and disloca- tions are rampant at rail facilities as well as marine terminals, and seem to be increasing in frequency despite developments such as the formation of the pool of pools in Southern Cali- fornia, a recently announced chassis pool in the Southeast, and additional options offered by newer intermod- al equipment providers (IEPs) to supplement the fleets of the three major IEPs. Driver shortage more complex The much-touted US driver North America's extensive port and intermodal networks, but they have exposed the weaknesses in the supply chain. As a major gateway for contain- erized imports that move by rail and truck, the Southern California port complex takes a broad view of the supply chain, including both ocean and inland transportation, said Noel Hacegaba, deputy execu- tive director and COO at the Port of Long Beach. The stress on the sup- ply chain that the ports see begins with today's vessels of 10,000- to 14,000-TEU capacity, and the huge cargo exchanges of 10,000 TEU or more per vessel call that the me- ga-ships create, he said. Long Beach alone generated 3.8 million truck moves in 2017, an average of 300,000 per month, which represented an increase of 13 percent over the past five years, port statistics show. In a port complex with 17,000 trucks, 68,000 chassis, A problem money can't solve Analysts say much needs to be done to unclog bottlenecks at US ports, rails and roads By Bill Mongelluzzo Trucker delays at marine terminals, railyards, and distribution warehouses "will continue" because of inefficiencies in the supply chain. Importing & Exporting | Ports | Carriers | Breakbulk | Global Logistics

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