Drayage shortage crimps supply chain amid quick demand recovery

The amount of available drayage capacity in the market to handle container movements has dwindled in recent months due to a combination of factors. Those include a quick rebound in volume at ports and inland rail terminals, a slowdown in shippers unloading and returning containers, and drivers exiting the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapid swing in volumes has exacerbated the capacity shortage, as ports and railroads suffered double-digit declines year over year in the second quarter, only to see a quick return to year-over-year growth in the third quarter, according to intermodal marketing and trucking executives.

The supply chain is unaccustomed to such whiplash-like change, according to these executives, which has caused equipment and truck availability to become a problem.

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