To solve the infamous congestion at Western Ports of the US, last month President Joe Biden ordered the California Ports to run operations 24/7 but the truckers now seem to be a challenge to the plan. The data shows that truckers aren’t showing up to collect the cargo. Reporting on the same, Maersk said that last Friday nearly half of its 2000 available appointments for truckers at the terminal on Port of Long Beach went unused.
Experts cleared that nothing is intentional, as it’s either the unavailability of the chassis or the warehouse space that is responsible for this trucker shortage. To add to the troubles, the industry is also facing a record shortage of truck drivers. Things have not improved much since Biden’s 24/7 schedule came into force and it is visible in the number of vessels at anchor waiting to dock at crowded ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Insiders believe that the 24/7 schedule will not resolve the supply chain crisis on its own because the terminals are only one element of this complex crisis.
Matt Schrap, CEO of Harbor Trucking Association said that truckers are struggling to find space for the new containers because due to the restrictions on the empty container return, truckers have to store the empty containers. He added that the situation is getting worse as the containers are getting stacked on top of each other.
Currently, the US is short of 80,000 truck drivers which simply translates to fewer people available for clearing containers from clogged terminals of ports. Now the question is who is going to pay for this added cost of fees and delay. There is a high possibility that it will be passed onto the retailers who are already facing the burn of sky-high shipping rates.