The short supply of US trucking is being impacted further as covid cases rise across the entire country, putting further strain on an already struggling, and to some extent broken, inland logistics network.

Right now, both trucks and chassis are in short supply, with trucking rates on the rise. Un-predicted demurrage and chassis fees have become common place as truckers face major issues returning equipment in usual timeframes, due to high port congestion levels.

Importers throughout the US are incurring extra fees for deliveries, as truckers are unable to establish a return slot at the time of booking. Without the importer accepting there ‘may’ be additional charges incurred, under pressure truckers will not commit to arranging the delivery.

This issue is creating its own vicious circle – when truckers are loaded with empties to be returned they are not delivering full loads and the port congestion continues to build. It also means that less empty containers are getting back to origins like Asia, which continues to be in dire need of equipment.

Port congestion itself has continued to worsen over recent weeks, especially on the US West Coast where covid cases have hit the workforce hard and where over 40 ships remain anchored outside of LA port at any one time, awaiting a berthing slot.

The Westbound North American team continue to monitor the situation closely, while we expect a little respite following the Chinese New Year period, these issues are expected to continue well into quarter two, and perhaps beyond.

At Westbound Logistics we pride ourselves in offering personalised and tailored logistics solutions. To find out more please call 01375 800800 oemail