US Drayage Market

Goals

To understand the drayage market in the United States by finding the indystry's market size.

Early Findings

  • In 2018, the US Drayage demand was outpacing capacity, and there are several factors, both new and old that are contributing to increased pricing and equipment shortages.
  • Inbound container volumes, ELD (Electronic Logistics Device), and weather are the factors contribuiting to a tightening intermodal drayage market. These contributing factors have resulted in volatility in current market pricing, causing drayage providers to increase their rates.
  • Another source of uncertainty lies in the ongoing restructuring of the US intermodal network, particularly in the east and across the intermodal gateways. The tide of intermodal network expansion occurring in recent years appears to have peaked and has started to ebb.
  • "One pain point from 2018 that is expected to ease in 2019 is the availability of intermodal drayage capacity. At several points in 2018, first and last mile intermodal drayage was extremely difficult to source in key markets like Chicago and Southern California. The drayage business needed to become more attractive to truck drivers for them to want to pursue it as a career path, and the price adjustments forced onto shippers throughout 2018 enabled stronger recruitment and retention of drivers. The payoff was an increase to drayage availability in major markets during peak season, albeit at a much higher price. The combination of tax reform which facilitated fleet expansion, a higher price climate, and a willingness to integrate more third-party owner operators will allow dray fleet operators to haul more freight in 2019."

Proposed next steps:

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