North American Shipping Update

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, view the report here. Note that a strong cold front is forecasted to bring record low temperatures east of the Rockies this week.  Any domestic or inland shipments should be protected from freezing temperatures with the use of temperature-controlled equipment for domestic loads or Hillebrand VinLiner insulation on international sea freight container moves.


Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal have initiated a partial strike in response to recent developments in the negotiations with the Maritime Employers Association (MEA).  Starting Tuesday April 13, 2021, the labor union will not work any weekends or overtime shifts during weekdays.

South America

Buenos Aires – The trucker blockage affecting cargo terminals T4 (APM) and TRP terminals has ended.  Shipments scheduled between April 8th and 20th through these terminals may have been affected.  Please check status on myHillebrand or with your local Hillebrand representative for more information.

Chilean ports – productivity at San Antonio and Valapariso have been impacted by new covid restrictions which is slowing the normal transport of cargo to/from warehouse and suppliers.  Ocean carriers are adjusting new bookings in response to ongoing congestion at US West Coast ports; allow for a minimum of 8 weeks in advance for bookings.

Cross-Andes transport – plan ahead for additional delays for cross-Andes routings to Chile; transport closures and delays due to snow and ice typically occur between May and September.


Due to ongoing port congestion on the US West Coast, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has modified their Ocean Loop 1 service, changing from a weekly port calls to fortnightly (every two weeks) to improve schedule reliability.  For imports alternative shipping lines and longer lead times should be considered.


Demand for bookings from Europe to North America remains extremely strong.  Ocean carriers are facing a backlog of bookings, in the thousands, across Europe and in some cases are placing restrictions or holds on new bookings or skipping scheduled port calls on various loops.  The congestion at ports, container availability (impacted in this region more heavily by the recent Suez Canal delays), and delays continue.  Rate levels are extremely high and bunker (fuel) costs are increasing.


For more information or origins not listed, please reach out to your Hillebrand representative to discuss the best possible transport arrangements for your upcoming bookings, warehousing, insurance, and customs compliance needs.