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: 178
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: 238
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: 1133
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: 1775
Continue reading 0 Comments

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

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

Blog Archives