Train Pain: Intermodal Delays & Shortage

Train Pain: Intermodal Delays & Shortage

Intermodal delays and equipment shortages are the latest issues disrupting the flow of logistics in the United States, impacting the rest of the world. Between the issues of getting empty containers to load with exports instead of shipped back to Asia empty in order to expedite the return of more imports and the lack of drivers available to move those containers from a rail to shippers, the Midwest and West Coast are seeing severe delays and issues with intermodal cargo. 

BNSF President and CEO Katie Farmer gave the most concise prescription to the symptoms of illness spreading through logistics. 

We need all parts of the supply chain to be willing to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help keep up with these unprecedented demand levels. As these inland supply chain constraints moderate, the resulting velocity improvement on our rolling stock will generate more than enough capacity to handle the current backlog as well as increasing volumes, including those at major ports.”

In total agreement with the statement, the same could be said for any alleviating of the pressure on any facet of logistics currently. Fewer ocean shipments would allow ports to catch up and as the line moves, the rail catches up, the trucks catch up, equipment balances, and so forth. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the job of inland hubs to provide the space that the supply chain needs to breathe – but it better breathe soon or it’s going to faint. 

It’s no secret that we’re navigating a difficult season in our industry, but Edward J. Zarach & Associates has the experience and the history to advocate on behalf of our clients. Flexible schedules, being cognizant of the delays facing intermodal cargo, is the best weapon to beat delays. Gone are the days of getting a same-day or even next-day pick-up on a container as average bookings are 10-14 days out. 

Don’t trust your cargo to inexperienced forwarders in this day and age. You need a logistics partner who has long relationships, creative solutions, and a way to guide you through these issues. If you want to discuss the options we have to keep your cargo moving, contact your Edward J. Zarach & Associates representative today!