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The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

Aug 16, 2021

The West Coast Bottleneck with Brian Rice

Brian Rice and Joe Lynch discuss the west coast bottleneck. Brian is the CEO of Dray Depot, a 3PL out of Chicago area that focuses on the drayage market.

About Brian Rice

Brian is the President and CEO of Dray Depot, a 3PL out of Chicago focusing on the drayage market. He has been in the logistics industry for over 10 years and has learned and experienced the ups, downs, and changes in the industry during that time. He started on the ground level as a carrier representative and made his way through the carrier, customer, and leadership sides of the business. He brings a great wealth of knowledge and experience having been in the trenches. Given this extensive knowledge, Brian has put his plans into play and seeing success in drayage. Brian and his team at Dray Depot are taking the industry by storm with some very exciting moves and further plans for a $36 million project to expand into cold storage in the southeast. Brian is a born and raised Chicagoan and loves Chicago sports. He is married with a 5 year old son, 4 year old daughter, and his fur babies that keep him on to go!

About Dray Depot

Dray Depot is an employee owned and operated third party logistics company that specializes in drayage and transloading services. The growing congestion and the resulting demurrage at the ports was a call to arms for our team, so we meticulously built a bullet-proof network of carrier partners and transloading facilities at every port and rail in the United States, consisting of 5k partners in our network and growing. Our mission is to keep the demurrage money in our customers pockets and away from the ports, our motto is “DON’T LET THE PORTS WIN!”. We have been accomplishing this at an astounding rate by monitoring our partner carrier’s ever-changing loading schedules for available drivers and assigning them to our customer's containers to ensure they are being pulled prior to LFD, even on short notice.

Key Takeaways: The West Coast Bottleneck

  • Brian Rice is the Chief Executive Officer at Dray Depot, a Chicago based drayage and transloading provider that services all U.S. ports and rails.
  • In the podcast interview Brian shares his insights on the shipment delays on the West Coast that are wreaking havoc on retail, e-commerce, and production supply chains.
  • Los Angeles is the largest port in the United States and, together with Long Beach a bit further south, account for around 30 percent of trade entering and exiting the United States.
  • China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are the top 5 exporters to the USA.
  • The US imported the most goods from Canada until 2007 when China replaced our neighbor to the north.
  • In 2019, these five countries supplied 48% of the $2.5 trillion in U.S. imports of goods.
  • The 5 biggest US importers are Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, and Ashley Furniture. Click the link to see the top 100 US importers.
  • In late May 2021, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles stated, “We are in the seventh month of an unparalleled import surge
  • Stuck at home during the pandemic, Americans decided to buy lots of consumer goods.
  • The surge in ships arriving from Asia put West Coast ports under stress, which started in November and thus far has continued through into the summer months.
  • While American consumers demand went up, transportation and logistics companies struggled to keep up.
  • Employees stayed home because 1.) Fear of COVID, 2.) Kids were home, 3.) Government checks
  • Meanwhile USA exports dropped because of supply chain shortages, COVID related production delays
  • In addition, the shipping container shortage and the block Suez Canal caused supply chains disruptions.
  • The West Coast bottleneck is slowly opening up, but will most likely last until 2022.
  • Shippers, especially those who rely on Christmas sales must work with their 3PLs to find alternative solutions.

Learn More About: The West Coast Bottleneck

Brian Rice LinkedIn Profile

Dray Depot 

The Logistics of Logistics Podcast