North America Operations Update May 19, 2021

Below you will find the latest update on operational and seasonal conditions that are likely to affect the movement of shipments in or out of US / Canadian ports. 

North America
For port operations, intermodal and domestic, contact us to be added to the report distribution.  New York, Los Angeles / Long Beach, Oakland, Savannah and Seattle are seeing high levels of congestion at the terminals. 

Plan ahead for the Memorial Day national holiday (Monday May 31st) closures at the port terminals and allow for extra time handling the ISF customs filing requirements on imports. For import clearance handled with our shipping partner Hillebrand, the cutoff is 5PM Eastern on Thursday May 27th for vessels sailing through Wednesday June 2nd, 2021.

South America
Ocean carrier service from South America to North America is impacted, especially on the US West Coast as a result of high port congestion in the US and at transshipment ports in Mexico/Central America.  Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hapag Lloyd have increased rates this month as capacity is restricted especially to the US West Coast. 

Also plan ahead for winter disruption for shipments moving across the Andes from Argentina to Chilean ports, intermittent closures and winter hours will affect scheduled departures. 

The influx of orders has not eased at all on the transatlantic; vessels are sailing completely full from all areas of Europe to North American ports and there is still backlog.  The operational alliance “THE Alliance” will suspend the AL1 service as of June and carriers have continue to move tonnage to the Transpacific and Asia-Europe rates.  This will continue to mean equipment supply scarcity and premium pricing for vessel space from all major wine and spirits production areas in Europe. 

Note E.U. bank holidays notably May 24th, and June 3rd (Germany, Spain, Portugal, others). 

Continue to adjust lead times to build in more time for full loads; for urgent orders visit Hillebrand’s groupage (consolidation) schedules or consider airfreight service. 

Tariff Updates
Good news from the EU and US Trade Office as it relates to aluminum and steel tariffs.  The EU tariffs on American whiskeys will not double on June 1st, 2021. 

We continue to monitor developments related to the tariffs in the Boeing-Airbus aircraft dispute.  Currently the related additional 25% tariff suspensions are set to expire July 4th (UK) and July 11th (European Union) unless an agreement can be reached.  There is bipartisan support and ongoing industry efforts to extend the suspension and we’ll advise when there are new developments.   

For more information on pending or planned shipments, please reach out to our shipping partner Hillebrand to discuss the best possible arrangements for transport, warehousing, insurance, and customs compliance needs.