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Intermodal to the rescue

There are no easy answers to the trucker shortage, but a project in Oregon demonstrates that intermodal could help save the trucking industry.

By ·

While the truck driver crisis seems to have stabilized recently, there remains a dramatic shortage of drivers with no solution in sight. Yet, as this article will discuss, the development and growing use of intermodal facilities around the United States could play an important role in increasing the number of truck drivers on the road.

One example of this emerging phenomenon is the development of the Port of Willamette Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility*. There, the Oregon Department of Transportation is funding a single site for development of an intermodal transfer facility to serve the market of abundant agricultural products exported from the Willamette Valley Area. One of the two finalists for the proposal for funding is the Port of Willamette in Brooks, Oregon. While the state’s highest intent for funding the facility is to provide better logistics connectivity for the region’s producers, the facility will also considerably improve conditions for the region’s truck drivers.

The following passage is a brief excerpt from the Oregon Port of Willamette Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility proposal submitted to the Oregon Department of Transportation. It tells the story of a day in the life of a driver delivering an imported container from Seattle and then returning the empty container:

[After picking up a container at the Port of Seattle] the driver then heads south to Eugene, which is 283 miles from the Port of Seattle. This trip will take the driver about six hours on average including stops at inspection stations, which could put the driver into Eugene at 3:00 p.m. Upon arrival at ACME Products in Eugene, the truck/40-foot container must be offloaded. The amount of time needed to do this varies, but can take approximately 1 hour to 3.5 hours per container. Using the worst-case assumption, the container would be completely unloaded by 6:30 p.m. The driver can then head back toward Seattle.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

By ·

While the truck driver crisis seems to have stabilized recently, there remains a dramatic shortage of drivers with no solution in sight. Yet, as this article will discuss, the development and growing use of intermodal facilities around the United States could play an important role in increasing the number of truck drivers on the road.

One example of this emerging phenomenon is the development of the Port of Willamette Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility*. There, the Oregon Department of Transportation is funding a single site for development of an intermodal transfer facility to serve the market of abundant agricultural products exported from the Willamette Valley Area. One of the two finalists for the proposal for funding is the Port of Willamette in Brooks, Oregon. While the state’s highest intent for funding the facility is to provide better logistics connectivity for the region’s producers, the facility will also considerably improve conditions for the region’s truck drivers.

The following passage is a brief excerpt from the Oregon Port of Willamette Brooks Intermodal and Transload Facility proposal submitted to the Oregon Department of Transportation. It tells the story of a day in the life of a driver delivering an imported container from Seattle and then returning the empty container:

[After picking up a container at the Port of Seattle] the driver then heads south to Eugene, which is 283 miles from the Port of Seattle. This trip will take the driver about six hours on average including stops at inspection stations, which could put the driver into Eugene at 3:00 p.m. Upon arrival at ACME Products in Eugene, the truck/40-foot container must be offloaded. The amount of time needed to do this varies, but can take approximately 1 hour to 3.5 hours per container. Using the worst-case assumption, the container would be completely unloaded by 6:30 p.m. The driver can then head back toward Seattle.

 


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Article Topics

Big Data · E-commerce · Intermodal · Trucking · All Topics
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From the January-February 2019
If history is our guide, economies take a turn every nine years. Yet time and again, a strong business cycle and fading memories convince us the good times will go on forever. Ten years after the great recession, we surveyed 100 manufacturing firms to find out if businesses are ready to fight through the next recession.
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