Wednesday, December 1, 2021

“America’s Shipping Crisis” Will Not End

I’m A Twenty Year Truck Driver, I Will Tell You Why. (by Ryan JOHNSON)

I have a simple question for every ‘expert’ who thinks they understand the root causes of the shipping crisis: Why is there only one crane for every 50–100 trucks at every port in America?   No ‘expert’ will answer this question.

I’m a Class A truck driver with experience in nearly every aspect of freight. My experience in the trucking industry of 20 years tells me that nothing is going to change in the shipping industry.

Let’s start with understanding some things about ports. Outside of dedicated port trucking companies, most trucking companies won’t touch shipping containers. There is a reason for that.

Think of going to the port as going to WalMart on Black Friday, but imagine only ONE cashier for thousands of customers. Think about the lines. Except at a port, there are at least THREE lines to get a container in or out. The first line is the ‘in’ gate, where hundreds of trucks daily have to pass through 5–10 available gates. The second line is waiting to pick up your container. The third line is for waiting to get out. For each of these lines the wait time is a minimum of an hour, and I’ve waited up to 8 hours in the first line just to get into the port. Some ports are worse than others, but excessive wait times are not uncommon. It’s a rare day when a driver gets in and out in under two hours. By ‘rare day’, I mean maybe a handful of times a year. Ports don’t even begin to have enough workers to keep the ports fluid, and it doesn’t matter where you are, coastal or inland port, union or non-union port, it’s the same everywhere.

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  1. I've seen this in Hampton Roads at the Norfolk, Portsmouth shipping container piers. Between the trucks and rail line we see a constant stream of shipping container be brought in. They have tried to keep up with it by upgrading the ports, but that process takes years and millions of dollars.

  2. There WASN'T a problem. Then, all of a sudden, ,there WAS a problem. This isn't something that was building up. This is something that was BUILT. ...Total crap... Funny how this all started soon after Inauguration Day...

  3. My husband is a retired over-the-road truck driver and so we've seen the "inside" perspective of the industry for years. The extreme wait times for loading and unloading aren't just at the ports. It's a huge problem at many manufacturers and every distribution center in the country. And this is at places that operate 24/7 with a full complement of employees!

    As with most problems, however, there's more to it than what's seen on the surface. Consequently, the "experts" will never get it. My advice is for folks to learn how to get by without buying stuff. Plant a garden, learn how to can food, learn how to patch your clothes, learn basic repair, learn how to be content with less stuff. These are priceless skills in a world going down the drain.