The freight influx is a mixed blessing for local motor carriers and drivers. While the number of loads is up, the congestion and delays mean drivers can retrieve fewer loads overall.
“If it’s going to take a driver five hours to get in and out, it trims down how much they can make in a day,” said an operations manager for an Atlanta-based logistics provider. “It really decreases what drivers are willing to do.”
The delays are pushing up costs throughout the supply chain. Ocean carriers and terminals are charging rates between $100 to $250 per day for shippers that are delayed in returning or picking up containers. Likewise, drayage carriers are charging wait fees of $75 per hour for drivers sitting idle at terminal queues.
Carl Frederick, who has brokered drayage services at New Jersey ports for 30 years, says the added fees set the stage for future billing disputes between shippers, logistics firms and motor carriers
Logistics and forwarders “are going to get whacked for the costs,” Frederick said. “Whether or not a motor carrier can pass on those costs is another issue because you are going to get a lot of flack for charging driver detention.”
The Harbor Trucking Association says truck turn times at LA-LB terminals averaged 90 minutes during the fourth quarter, the highest level since July 2017.
An executive for a Los Angeles-based drayage carrier who spoke on condition of anonymity says turn times are still at those levels during January. With truck and driver supply static, “the same fleet can’t pull out as many containers as when it’s a 70-minute turn time,” he says.
The executive continued, “You slow up turn times and productivity, and we’ll never have enough trucks.”
With the additional detention and per-diem fees, a $300 or $400 drayage move from the Port of Los Angeles to nearby Carson can cost upwards of $1,000 after other fees are tacked on.
He says all the major container terminals in Southern California, including Total Terminals International and West Basin Container Terminals in Long Beach, have issues. But APM Terminals in Los Angeles stands out for delays.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News