The port drayage industry depends heavily on owner-operators driving as independent contractors to licensed motor carriers (LMCs). There are many employee-driven fleets and LMCs with both, but owner-operators make up the bulk of US drayage drivers. California State Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), passed in September 2019 and due to be enforced in 2020, drastically tightens the definition of an independent contractor. To be considered an independent contractor, a California driver must
The container shipping industry lives somewhere in the tri-state area of Chaos, Flux, and Transition. While everyone would rather live somewhere in Stability, there seems to be no consensus on where it is or how to get there. For the carriers, Stability means profitable rates. Last year the industry as a whole was profitable for the first time in years, but can they sustain it? Many have been unable to recapture higher bunker costs through surcharges, and there are prediction
The first victims of the Administration’s trade war will be ocean carriers, ports, terminals, truckers, and railroads. There are seldom any winners in a trade war – although both sides will claim victory in the end – but there will surely be a loss of trade and damage to the shipping industry. The announced U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum will hurt break bulk carriers and ports as well as the container trades. China’s announcement of retaliatory tariffs on fruit, dried fru
Going into 2018 the container shipping industry faces a fundamental problem: too many large vessels. The carriers have invested heavily in “megaships” to reduce slot costs and emissions, and continue to take delivery of ever-larger examples. The oversupply of vessels overall and large vessels in specific creates a double-edged problem: -Oversupply has depressed rates and profitability in an era of slow trade growth, despite partial recoveries by some carriers in some trades.
Vessel dwell time is a hot button for the container shipping industry. Besides the cost involved on both the land side and the water side, there are serious concerns about the ability of terminals to handle new megaships promptly and efficiently. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmits precise vessel location data and speed data, giving operators, government agencies, and industry analysts far better and more complete information on vessel movements and dwell time
It seems impossible to read a trade journal or attend a conference without a discussion of autonomous vehicles and what they might mean for the freight industry. Despite occasional setbacks and incidents, there have been enormous strides made in autonomous vehicle technology. The popular images of port drayage are the long lines of trucks waiting to enter a terminal and the congested freeways. If that is what drayage is about then maybe autonomous vehicles make a lot of sense