Supply Chain Crisis and Truck Part Delays Hurt Fleet Management
The shipping and trucking industries have been dealing with supply chain delays for months now, and the current port delays are near a record high. These challenges are attributed to the surge in consumer demand, and to the scarcity of employees including truck drivers.
The labor shortage and huge demand to get goods to your front door have created one of the most challenging times in the United States. The ships are forced to wait for weeks before they can dock and have their cargo unpacked.
The congestion at the ports is visible with too many vessels arriving and then having to wait to offload their cargo. At one point and according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California, there were 79 ships anchored off the West coast waiting for spots to open up in order to unload at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. It is estimated that about 4,500 ships–carrying a third of U.S. imports-come through these ports alone every year.
Why Are Cargo Ships Not Being Unloaded?
Pandemic shutdowns, labor shortages, and other disruptions slowed the shipping and logistics industry while imports surged due to shifting consumer-spending habits in 2020 and 2021. Hence, the record numbers of huge cargo ships stuck at key ports. California ports for example account for about one-third of US imports as they are a primary source of imports from China, but have been heavily congested for a long time. Fall is typically the ports’ busiest time as companies build up inventory for the holiday shopping season.
Ships carrying containers to the ports are faced with a lack of staffers to move containers, as well as truck drivers for short and long hauls. Hence, both empty and full containers are being stacked up at the ports. To make matter worse, some ships are being diverted to other ports in Florida and Texas adding even more time to the deliveries. Ships, trucks, trains, and warehouses are all dependent on each other’s operations to deliver in a timely and effective way.
Satellite images show an impressive swarm of idle ships in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. These container ships are transporting essential goods with just about everything you can imagine from electronics and toys to truck parts from Asia to the western coast of the United States. The average anchorage times at the Port of Los Angeles have stretched for weeks on end, with other parts of the supply chain slowing down as well and causing a domino effect.
Ship Delays Affecting Essential Truck Part Deliveries
The demand for consumer goods has increased at a substantial pace that has played a significant role. Many items are either out of stock or available at excessive prices, including used truck parts and computer chips for new trucks, causing significant shipping backlogs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the main strain on supply chains due to social distancing, quarantines and vaccine requirements. All of these are hampering the capacity of port staff and truck drivers to carry out their jobs. Consumers are facing a shortage of a variety of items, including electronics, furniture, new vehicles and essential vehicle parts. Included in the delays or lack of imported goods are the most common truck used parts, such as water pumps, engine sensors, turbos and EGR coolers which are scarce or delayed for weeks. However, there is also a self-imposed increase in demand due to perceived or potential shortages driving manufacturers to raise prices.
The interruptions with the container ships at the nation’s ports are making companies think out of the box and focus on alternatives. The good news is that despite the poor consistency, shipping companies are making record profits due to the consumers’ increased demand.
How Fleet Tracking Devices Can Mitigate Delays and Uncertainty
A GPS fleet tracking device collects data and translates it to practical information, which can help in optimizing navigation, monitor vehicle maintenance to anticipate the need for parts, and ensure driver efficiency. Some of the features making GPS tracking a must include:
- Real-Time Vehicle Location and Status
- Historical Movements of Fleet Vehicles
- Custom Landmarks and Geofences
- Motion Sensors for Anti-Theft Protection
- Save on Gas, Insurance and Improve ROI
Establishing a GPS tracking solution allows trucking businesses and fleet managers to keep tabs on precise location, safety, and delays. A fleet tracking solution ensures that you have timely and accurate information at your fingertips during these difficult times in order to improve fleet productivity whenever possible. The most crucial benefit may be tracking maintenance intervals for individual vehicles to prolong vehicle life and decrease breakdowns due to simple items like oil changes, tire wear and filter changes.
If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.
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