February 19, 2019 – Canaan Transport’s drayage carriers have expressed their concern that the container transportation sector has been facing severe challenges that are leading to inefficient supply chains and increased, unsustainable costs. There is extreme frustration in the entire dray community, which has been communicated to us. The inflexibility of ocean carriers and terminals with storage costs, detention or demurrage costs have certainly caused additional angst as bad weather over the winter of 2018-2019 has led to major delays in retrieving and returning containers at rail terminals.
There is an extreme frustration at the lack of communication from the rail industry, about the movement of containers from one rail terminal to another, without warning, the lack of appointments, the resulting storage fees, lack of communication to find out where empties are to be returned, driver wait times, additional runs to bring the empties back to the carrier yard, all leading to the drayage carriers’ inability to absorb costs for rail storage, dead runs, demurrage, and pre-pulls.
In one example, the carrier asked the steamship line to get involved but was told, in essence, to bill the customer for any idling or delays eventually leading to storage.
The following are some of the major issues that we have been facing:
· Extreme cold temperatures for two weeks in a row caused considerably more breakdowns than usual.
· Containers being moved between CN BIT and CN MALPORT with either no notice or very little notice and, as a result of these moves, “storage dates are being changed and often advanced rather than postponed,” carriers said.
· A major snowfall pushing all of these things over the edge. Drivers arriving at customers’ yards to find no clean driveways, causing, in the best case scenario, a 2-3 hr wait time just to drop a load, in worst case scenario, a dead run and returned loads for re-delivery once driveways were clean.
· Although Canaan Transport continues to accept new orders, many are not, which is resulting in a mad scramble to locate capacity.
We continue to do our best and we ask for your patience during these trying times.