Follow us on Twitter!
Blog Header Logo
DG&A's Transportation Consulting Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in capacity shortage


Periodically, business conditions change. These changes can have positive or negative effects on certain sectors of the freight transportation industry.

Intermodal transportation uses at least two modes of transportation (i.e. road, rail) to move freight. The intermodal option works best when the rail service provider has terminals within a fifty-mile radius of the origin and destination points and on major long haul (i.e. over 1000 mile) lanes. While intermodal volumes have grown over the past couple of decades, this business remains a niche market. The typical road/rail combo service is usually a few days longer than over the road transportation, but it is normally priced a few percentage points below truck service. This may be a pivot point for intermodal. Here’s why.

The US and Canadian Domestic Intermodal Freight Markets

Two hurricanes in the southern US and solid economic conditions in Canada and United States have been driving a tightening of trucking capacity. As it tightens, intermodal service can be an option on some freight shipping corridors. Shippers often look to intermodal service for lower freight costs. As truck capacity shrinks and spot market rates rise, this may create an impetus for shippers to migrate some traffic from road to rail.

Hits: 55
Continue reading 0 Comments


We have been hearing about the possibility of a trucking capacity shortage for several years. While there have been sporadic shortages in specific geographic areas, for particular modes, the predicted massive shortage never materialized. This year may be different.

Two major hurricanes caused major damage to homes and infrastructure in Texas, Florida and adjoining areas. Drivers and trucks are required in these areas to transport building materials, appliances, electric grids, and other needed supplies. Some drivers will likely take construction jobs to aid with the rebuilding effort and increase their earnings.

The economies of Canada and the United States are in good shape with historically low unemployment and solid GDP growth. Then there is the Electronic Logging (ELD) Device mandate that will restrict the utilization of some trucks and push some drivers out of the industry. This unique confluence of variables is likely to make an already tight capacity situation even tighter.

What can shippers do to secure the capacity they need to keep their supply chains flowing and serve their customers? Here are two suggestions.

Hits: 150
Continue reading 0 Comments


As we all know, freight capacity throughout North America is tightening. A shortage of drivers, new government regulations and rising fleet costs are making it increasingly challenging for trucking companies to operate their fleets. As a result, carriers are being selective in terms of the shippers for whom they will offer their fleet capacity.

Smart carriers are ranking their customers on the basis of profitability and ease of serving. Shippers must now make their companies and their freight attractive to their carriers to secure the capacity they need. These are some things they can do.

Run a Clean Operation

Simply put, shippers need to be organized. As carriers enter their customers’ yards, they want to find an available dock door and they want the freight and paperwork to be ready for pick-up. They don’t want to have to wait as other carriers to block their way. They also don’t want their customers to call them back 30 minutes after they left the yard to pick up an extra skid or two. In other words, trucking companies want consistency, reliability and predictability. They want to work with shippers that are efficient and keep their costs down.

Hits: 1080
Continue reading 0 Comments

In a recent Stifel report, it was noted that the “mother” of all capacity shortages is expected to hit the United States in 2017 as a series of government regulations reduce the supply of fleet equipment by five to fifteen percent. Despite the efforts of carriers to raise pay, upgrade facilities and improve the lifestyle of drivers, annual turnover stubbornly remains at close to one hundred percent in many fleets. On the rail side, a huge upswing in the movement of energy products by this mode has had a deleterious effect on intermodal capacity and service. Wise shippers realize that trying to secure carriers on the spot market is a risky endeavor since this leaves them open to capacity shortages and rate volatility.

What can your company do to protect itself if there are capacity shortfalls?

Is your company ready for even tighter freight capacity? Will the integrity of your company’s supply chain be maintained in this ever-changing environment? What can your company do to protect itself if there are capacity shortfalls?

1. Bring your top performing carriers under contract

An important first step is to view your major carriers as business partners. As such, it makes good sense to negotiate formal multi-year contracts with capacity commitments and service guarantees. As you engage in these types of discussions, find out how your business fits within the parameters of their operation. Does your freight move on their primary traffic lanes? Do they have head haul or back haul in the reverse direction? Are you a valued customer?

Hits: 1707
Continue reading 0 Comments

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

supply chain management Social Media freight payment Muhammad Ali business start-up autonomous vehicles natural disasters pipelines Canada's global strategy Freight Recession Distribution Horizontal Supply Chain Collaboration BNSF shipper-carrier contracts Finance and Transportation transportation audit Success Microsoft ProMiles Dan Goodwill Transportation Toronto Career Advice TMS freight costs Leadership shipping wine dynamic pricing Cleveland Cavaliers Transcom Fleet Leasing Grocery US Manufacturing US Auto Sales FCPC Bobby Harris LinkedIn Tracy Matura President Obama trucking company acquisitions Outsourcing Sales driver freight transportation in 2011 home delibery Failure Surety bond 360ideaspace APL Derek Singleton freight RFP LCV's Fire Phone CN Rail Transportation Buying Trends Survey automation financial management online shopping 2014 freight volumes Twitter Colilers International intermodal FMCSA LTL Yield Improvement Canada U.S. trade 2013 Economic Forecast freight bid Canada-U.S. trade agreement YRC Trump coaching NAFTA risk management CSA David Tuttle Deferred Packaging Global experience Wal-Mart Management Whole Foods selling trucking companies Trucking Amazon TMP Worldwide Crude Oil by Rail Associates Freight Shuttle System mentoring routing guide Masters in Logistics Retail ShipMax Canada truck drivers FuelQuest Schneider Logistics freight forwarders Consulting 2014 freight forecast cheap oil Warehousing Canadian truckers Crisis management Business skills Reshoring IANA Education FMS MPG transportation newspaper freight audit small business Retail transportation drones Blogging CSX shipping US Housing Market future of freight industry MBA Training Transloading 2014 economic forecast Doug Davis NMFC 3PLTL Keystone Pipeline Business Transformation Strategy Rotman School of Business shipper-carrier roundtable 2015 Economic Forecast Regina $75000 bond Omni Channel customer engagement RFP hiring process carrier conference UP 3PL Doug Nix Emergent Strategy 2012 Transportation Business Strategies. Jugaad Entrepreneur KCS USA Truck Ferromex Dedicated Trucking bulk shipping professional drivers consumer centric broker security freight payment freight audit Canadian Transportation & Logistics TransForce Politics e-commerce last mile delivery peak season Business Strategy Transport Capital Partners (TCP) CP Rail marketing Infrastructure EBOR FCA US Economy Freight Management Harper Davos speech Loblaw buying trucking companies Driving for Profit Software Advice network optimization freight cost savings Load Boards economy Dedicated Contract Carriage Load broker US Election broker bonds Sales Carriers shipper-carrier collaboration the future of transportation capacity shortages Search engine optimization energy efficiency driverless Comey Canadian economy Sales Management Scott Monty Right Shoring robotics transportation news Donald Trump rail safety employee termination Railway Association of Canada Life Lessons Rate per Mile derailments Transplace Rail NS Training New Hires NCC Facebook economic forecasts for 2012 BlueGrace Logistics CN Global Transportation Hub Canadian freight market Otto fuel surcharge Celadon Packaging Freight Capacity CSA scores trade Inbound Transportation driver shortages freight transportation Job satisfaction Freight Rates ELD Hudsons Bay Company Sales Training Freight Matching freight broker JB Hunt New York Times Map-21 Transportation service CRM Werner Spanx Accessorial Charges Freight Carriers Association of Canada technology Stephen Harper Trade Vision truck driver freight agreements solutions provider Social Media in Transportation Adrian Gonzalez freight transportation conference dimensional pricing freight rate increases Blockchain Freight contracts capacity shortage Shipper Truckload Conway Broker Success failure entrepreneur tanker cars CITA Shipper Pulse Survey Climate Change home delivery Freight Swift University of Tennessee Driver Shortage

Blog Archives