As we’re seeing in the press, the backlog at UK ports is having big impact on production for manufacturers as they are having difficulties getting raw materials delivered, and on retailers who are struggling to get imports into distribution centres and out to shops.
The problem is being exacerbated by a lack of drivers and skeleton or ‘skelly’ trailers that are used to transport containers. However, we do expect the congestion to ease over the next couple of weeks, into mid-November.
As we start to see these goods eventually reach their destination, we anticipate another spike in demand with producers and retailers desperate to get their goods to market in time for Christmas.
With retailers and manufacturers fearing a poor Christmas peak due to resourcing, many have been seeking traction shifts – where loaded trailers can be picked up and delivered quickly – that can be used to bolster their own fleets. The Christmas peak traditionally sees an increase demand for traction shifts but this year the industry has seen a mini explosion in demand for this type of activity.
The scarcity of rental trailers, particularly box tail lift trailers that are used for store deliveries, may have led to larger retailers pre-procuring rental trailers that can be moved using traction shifts supplied by carriers.
DigiHaul pre-procured traction carriers in the summer in a variety of regions all over the UK, so we’re well positioned to provide support to shippers during the peak season.
Pre-procuring resource not just for peak but for the mid-term has helped DigiHaul avoid some of the premium pricing that the industry is seeing as demand outstrips supply. This helps us to keep our costs to the shipper at a reasonable level, as well as securing carrier resource well into 2022.
Matching our committed shifts from our Carrier Partners with committed volumes from our Shippers ensures surety of service and price. Similarly, our Carrier Partners know that their resources will be fully deployed for the Christmas peak and in many cases into 2022, so it’s a win-win.
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