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Southeast sees trucking demand surge as imports volume soars

MAJOR harbour trucking companies in the US Southeast are running out of capacity as a result of a 12-month surge of US imports from Asia, reports IHS Media

10 June 2021 - 19:00
MAJOR harbour trucking companies in the US Southeast are running out of capacity as a result of a 12-month surge of US imports from Asia, reports IHS Media. Combined imports through Charleston, Savannah and Norfolk have increased 27 per cent from January to May year on year.

The three ports are also up 15 per cent compared to the 2019 period. Imports in Savannah increased 31 per cent through the first five months and 20 per cent compared to 2019.



'On the driver side, we essentially have the same number of drivers servicing the ports as we did a few years ago,' said Trust Company of the West (TCW) drayage provider vice president Ben Banks.



'We are very fortunate to have a large book of business with clients we have great relationships with, which leaves us little room to expand to new customers, especially given the fact that current customers' volumes are up 30 to 40 per cent in many cases,' said Mr Banks.



Port City Transportations chief operating officer Bob Everleigh declared drayage capacity from Norfolk to Jacksonville is booked weeks in advance.



Said QFS Transportation owner Kelly Battle: 'It's ridiculous down here. I have honestly never seen anything like this, and I have been in the business for 34 years.'



Customers have turned to Drayage.com and LoadMatch.com to secure capacity, causing daily clicks to quintuple in Charleston, Savannah, and Norfolk compared with June 2020.



'The high-end, top-tier draymen for the ocean carriers and large importers are booked up until July at this point. When the smaller carriers start telling me, 'Hey, we're booked up right now too,' then I know it's getting super tight. And that's where we are in the Southeast,' said Mr Battle.


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