08.30.2022Warehouse Bottlenecks Are Snarling U.S. Supply Chains

Capacity constraints have moved from the water to land as companies tie up transport equipment, triggering backups across freight networks

by Paul Berger

The struggle for shipping capacity that has been a hallmark of pandemic-era snarled supply chains is shifting inland, with the transportation equipment crucial to moving goods growing increasingly difficult to find.

Logistics executives say sea containers and the steel trailers needed to ferry goods on trucks are being tied up for weeks at a time while companies store goods on the equipment because warehouses are brimming to capacity.

The practice is triggering lengthy backups at inland distribution hubs including Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., that officials say are as bad now as at any time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Right now the backup goes right to the warehouse and distribution center where those facilities are chock-a-block," said Mike Wilson, chief executive of Consolidated Chassis Management. CCM, based in Budd Lake, N.J., manages about 80,000 chassis, the steel trailers used by truckers to pull containers between ports, rail yards and warehouses.

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