Atlanta Rail and Savannah Port Issues
by Mike Owens
Please note that issues are arising in the rail yards in Atlanta with chassis availability , and in Savannah with chassis availability and Port congestion. Shortages are being attributed to the influx of rail volume from west coasts vessels as well as larger fuller ships. In Atlanta this creates large spikes of volume at the ramps, and quickly depletes the chassis pools.
Port congestion in Savannah is being driven by the increases in US east coast booking seen from Dec. to Feb. as importers tried to avoid congestion out west. Many lines also ran sweeper vessels/extra loaders, as well as larger ships, to east coast ports to accommodate that additional volume. This has placed additional strain on the ports, trucking capacity, and now chassis pools. Container recovery times and daily turns have been cut in half.
There is no timeline at any location for when chassis will become available, and availability is done on a first come first serve basis. Unfortunately the rail yards and ports will be charging storage regardless of whether or not chassis are available. Please plan accordingly with your last free days and notifications to us for dispatch. We are seeing 48-72 hour recovery times in Savannah due to the decrease in turns our trucks can make each day. We will do our best to recover containers but storage and demurrage will be your responsibility should it incur.
We will do our best to push out information regarding these issues on an ongoing basis.