Saturday, August 22, 2009

US Haulage Firms Foundered in 2008

Switch to Rail needed as Road Freight capacity down with dwindling economy
Shipping News Feature

US – A survey of American trucking companies showed that over 3000 US hauliers closed for business during 2008. This represents a reduction in carrying capacity of 7% over the year and was coupled to a reduction in the actual costs of logistics movements by 3.5%. This meant that overall logistics costs for the country came to $1.3 trillion which equates to 9.4% of US GDP.

Overall freight movements were down after manufacturing production dipped by 7.8% putting less cargo onto the road and causing the crisis. Much of the problem was caused by the demise of GM and Chrysler affecting the whole of their supply chains.

Storage and handling costs rose 9.5% due to overproduction of goods which then had no market. Road freight, Sea and Inland waterborne costs and rail carriage all cost more but airfreight costs fell.

Unsurprisingly the overwhelming advice of US transport consultants is for more road based traffic to switch to rail and water, and for companies to investigate sources nearer their own locations.