High freight volumes and tight capacity are forecast to continue through most modes in 2022, and that trend will also apply to maritime port drayage, according to a report from transportation software provider BookYourCargo (BYC).
National drayage rates in 2021 were already 51% higher than they were in 2020, and they are now expected to continue that momentum into the first quarter of 2022, due to persistent port bottlenecks, low carrier capacity, and low availability, the West Long Branch, New Jersey-based firm said.
Reasons for the backups include destructive weather patterns and an increase in consumer spending as a result of the holiday season, leading to port congestion and drayage rate increases across the board, BYC said.
“Los Angeles and Long Beach continue to be the most congested ports in the United States, due in part to the fact that 40% of imports are brought in through these terminals,” BYC CEO Nimesh Modi said in a release. “With Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years and other holidays causing consumers to spend more in a rush to get gifts on time, LA and Long Beach, as well as other ports the U.S. relies on, were heavily impacted by this dramatic influx of commerce.”
More specifically, BYC found that the December 2021 national drayage spot rate was 9% less than the previous month, but 20.4% more than the national rate in December 2020. While that increase is still notable, it has moderated somewhat from a previous trend line released in a September 2021 report, when it found that month’s national drayage spot rate was 6% more than the previous month and 32% more than September 2020.
“The last two years have demonstrated some fatal flaws in our current supply chain system,” Modi said. “As a result, the California Department of Transportation is finally investing in its ports, providing LA/LB and Oakland with $57.5 million to improve their terminals in an effort to improve efficiency and sustainability.”
BYC says its Drayage Index tracks data and metrics from both its own customers and partners in real time to produce monthly rates dating back to 2016. These rates can be evaluated to accurately predict average load costs and potential delays in the coming months for drayage transportation across various North American regions.