The Perfect Methanol StormMethanol activity and deliveries throughout the country, and especially in the New Jersey terminal area have been impacted by what’s being called the “perfect storm” in Methanol shipments and logistics.What’s causing the perfect storm?
1) Seasonal Capacity ExpansionThe biggest seasonal Methanol application is windshield washer fluid, an obvious capacity increase in the colder months in the Northeast. Though it’s already midway (or further) through the season, increased demand is the most evident top-funnel reason for increased trucking and freight strain.
2) Northeast Regional Weather and Road ConditionsWith the first two snowstorms of the season under our belts, drivers are less willing and likely to pickup lanes through the Northeast due to the traffic, messy, cold conditions and risks associated. Getting drivers to pickup lanes throughout the Northeast, especially during messy weather and cold conditions adds lead time, and typically cost to an already tight equation.
3) Driver Sickness & Flu SpreadingReports of the flu and seasonal cold infecting drivers has also added to the equation, depleting an already low-supply of drivers available nationwide. What’s been described as spreading “like the plague,” a shortage on top of a shortage of drivers will further increase lead times and decrease immediate availability.
4) Suppliers Shifting Pickups to Lower Capacity LocationsAccording to sources, a major supplier in the industry has shifted methanol pickups away from a large-scale location, to a hub with just a single load-out, cutting capacity by over 80%. On top of the other continued issues, this major bottleneck adds fuel to the fire of this perfect Methanol storm we’re currently seeing.
The Logistix Company’s freight management department consistently monitors the trucking market across the country but is anticipating abnormally tight availability for the next 5-10 business days and throughout the holidays.
For Methanol-specific orders and deliveries, the TLC team recommends a minimum one-week lead time. Of course, for Methanol or any other orders, the more lead time, the better to guarantee specific delivery dates, rates, and availability.