Equipment Update: West Coast Available, Inland Shortage, and East Coast Oversupply
Although the West Coast had sufficient equipment at container depots over the last 4 weeks, things have taken a turn for the worse recently. Vessel delays in December are slowing down empty container turnover in Vancouver, and there are minimal empty containers available at off-docks.
Inland terminals like Calgary and Winnipeg are experiencing a shortage of equipment. And on the East Coast, there is an equipment oversupply, making it challenging for trucking companies to find depots to return empty containers.
With the price of lumber dropping, many lumber mills are temporarily shutting down, which is reducing the volume of exports. There could be more empty containers going back to Asia as a result. Also, shipping lines are scheduling more blank sailings to prop up rates. Overall, there’s been a drop in ocean freight orders after 2-3 years of strong demand.