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US Land Transportation

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Intermodal Trucking Situation in the US

13/12/2017 9:21

ZIM , along with the shipping industry, has enjoyed a ready supply of trucking services for the last 2 years. We are now faced with increased challenges to the trucking community, predicted to have a major industry impact:

  • The supply of drivers is shrinking, as retirees are not being replaced on an equal basis.
  • Electronic Logging Devices, mandated to be in effect as of Dec 18, 2018. This is expected to impact productivity, as it will more effectively limit drivers to Federally mandated hours of service driving regulations.
  • Truck capacity for hazardous cargoes - less drivers are obtaining hazardous certificates, as they lose productivity when stopped for paperwork examinations.
  • Volume increases which are straining the entire supply chain infrastructure - in addition to the impact on trucking capacity, it also brings congestion at terminals and rail ramps. We have seen this most recently in SAV, where record volumes through the port are causing delays for local, over the road, as well as rail activity.
  • Rail free time is already very limited, and many of the major ramps are subject to intermittent delays.


We expect all of the above factors to contribute to increasing truck costs across the US, will lead to storage fees at Terminals and Rail Ramps, and may cause dry runs and congestion charges.

ZIM is taking the necessary measures to avoid disruptions and insure continuous service availability. We would also advise our customers to take some preventives steps, as much as reasonably possible:

  • Make sure delivery orders are provided as early as possible, preferably before vessel arrival. This is critical information.
  • Clear rail imports at the port of discharge, rather than at the inland ramp location.
  • Ensure that all hazardous paperwork is accurate and timely received.
  • When possible, expand receiving windows to include after hours. This will alleviate delays at Terminals and Ramps, which generally peak between 8am – 4 pm.

​ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd is one of the leading carriers in the global container shipping industry. ZIM operates a modern fleet and a network of shipping lines offering cargo transportation services on all major global trade routes, supported by the company's local offices and representatives around the world.


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