Disruption Report #38: 80,000 Truck Drivers Wanted, L.A. Clogged with Empty Shipping Containers, Fines In Place for Ocean Carriers Slow to Move Freight

U.S. Domestic Truck Driver Shortage Worsens

The experience of the Internet has replaced the American love of the open road. The average age of a U.S. truck driver is 47 years old (80% male). Younger people are not entering the profession.

Currently, the country is short by 80,000 drivers. According to a CSA article by Marianne Wilson, “Truck driver shortage hits all-time high — could double by 2030,” as the title implies, it’s going to get worse.

Trucking companies are not standing still. According to AZFamily.com writer Briana Whitney, some companies are offering $100,000 signing bonuses.

I read a report this morning that some high school graduates are bypassing college to take jobs that pay well. Truck driving may be one of them.

Empty shipping containers stacking up in the wrong places

We have long known that the U.S. imports a great deal more from China than it exports to that country. The fact has been abstract, something we see in quarterly government reports, but has never been as physically visible as it is now.

Consider this quote from an article by Tori Richards, “Empty shipping containers pile up in LA while China has shortage:”

Los Angeles ports are buried under 40-foot shipping containers, but across the sea, Chinese businesses are begging for them….the ubiquitous steel boxes clog the ports, local streets, and seemingly any unused lot around the coast.

There is, of course, no money to be made in shipping empty containers. Yet, you would think that the U.S. government, if it truly want to help, would pick up the cost of the bill. A small price to pay to take the pressure off U.S. consumer products companies and retailers.

Slow Pickups at L.A. Ports to cost carriers penalties

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will start charging fees to ocean carriers whose containers are causing unwanted congestion. Here is how The Daily Breeze describes in an article by Donna Littlejohn:

The new policy, set to go into effect Nov. 1, will charge ocean carriers a fee for truck-bound containers that sit in terminals nine days or more and those set to go out by rail that remain at least three days. The fee will be $100 per container. But the fee will also increase by $100 per container per day beyond those minimum thresholds.

Christmas is two months away.  The pressure is getting greater to clear up these blockages in the supply chain.

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