Rail delays stymie exporters in Memphis
Donna Lemm, executive vice president of drayage provider IMC Companies, said her cargo owners are tired of the delays they’ve experienced in the last six months. Companies such as Louis Dreyfus Company, Staplcotn, and Olam Cotton are major exporters in Memphis.
“Our exporters are exhausted,” Lemm told JOC.com. “Our importers are exhausted with no chassis and grounding of equipment. Both sides of the equation [importers and exporters] have high anxiety over the inland rail congestion problems and both sides have the right to be frustrated.”
For imports, Lemm said her drivers are reporting long turn times to get access to containers. On exports, she said it’s challenging with NS because truckers don’t need to book an appointment before heading to the terminal, as with CSX.
“Our exports are having a very challenging time with these NS ingate allotments,” she said. “Our drivers can get to the gate and the allotment is up for the day. That export has to be turned around and wait for the next day’s allotment to arrive.”
The turnaround comes with many costs to the draymen and cargo owners. The driver has to return the export to a storage lot, which lowers productivity and trickles down to the number of containers that can be delivered per day to cargo owners. Storage costs money to either the trucking company or exporter, depending on who pays the bill. Exporters have to wait an additional day to get their container to the port, which may impact its ability to get on the correct vessel.
Finally, the chassis sits idle under the container for 24 hours until a new allotment of slots open in Norfolk Southern’s terminal, which may exacerbate any already thin supply of available chassis for trucking companies to move containers in Memphis.
To read the full article on JOC.com, click HERE.
Posted: March 24, 2021