Truckers Expect U.S. Transport Capacity Crunch to Persist
Freight demand in a surging American economy is growing well ahead of truck availability, pushing up shipping costs
By Jennifer Smith, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
May 2, 2021
Freight industry executives expect a squeeze on trucking capacity that has been driving up shipping costs for U.S. companies to persist through the rest of the year, as strong demand in a rebounding American economy collides with a shortfall in truck availability.
“There’s more freight than trucks, or maybe I should say, than drivers,” David Menzel, chief operating officer at freight broker Echo Global Logistics Inc., said in an earnings call Wednesday. “The ports are backlogged, demand is strong, so rates are high. On the other hand, shippers are dealing with high rates, tight capacity and disrupted supply chains.”
Manufacturers and retailers including General Mills Inc., Rubbermaid-owner Newell Brands Inc. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. have pointed in recent quarterly earnings reports to rising transport costs and tight capacity as operational hurdles as they seek to restock inventories and meet strong consumer demand.
“We continue to be operating in a very disruptive environment because of container shortages coming from Asia, port congestion, trucking shortages,” Chris Peterson, finance chief and business operations president of Newell, whose portfolio includes Sharpie pens and outdoor brand Coleman, said in a Friday earnings call...
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