Shipping Advisories for North America & Imports

The global shipping supply chain has no capacity today to handle any new transport disruptions (weather, port strikes, civil unrest). These events will unfortunately only add to the already extensive delays seen across the entire industry network. Here are the areas to pay closer attention to if you have pending or upcoming bookings.

All major UK and European container ports are experiencing a surge in congestion levels as import demand increases. Shipping lines are skipping scheduled vessel calls at Rotterdam and Le Havre on transatlantic services due to congestion levels and new blank sailings (cancelled sailings by carriers to realign schedule integrity) will reduce space to the US West Coast weeks 29-31.

Genoa, Italy
Port terminals in Genoa are seeing trucking queues as long as 12 hours as construction on road and rail networks in and around the city limits is delaying normal transport flows. There is an additional road ban on truck transport on Saturdays so there are no off-peak gate-in at the terminals.

Storm & Flooding across Western Europe
Parts of Germany, Belgium, France have experienced severe weather and flooding which will affect normal rail, truck and barge movements. This will compound the already shortened supply of empty equipment to inland container depots.

Storm surges have affected operations at major Chilean seaports and San Antonio in particular as advised earlier this week. Operations have also stopped at one of the two port terminals in San Antonio from an indefinite port workers strike at DP World / Puerto Central. Services to the US East Coast are already delayed as most carriers operate out of San Antonio on these Europe-bound service loops. For US West Coast destinations, port closures from weather will also add to the delays on these routes as the transship in Panama and Mexico and these ports are already at a standstill from cargo moving to/from Asia and Europe.

The direct service to the US, run jointly by ANL, MSC, Hamburg Sud and Hapag-Lloyd continues to be severely impacted by the congestion on the US West Coast / Vancouver and is taking 6-8 weeks for bookings on average. For exports from New Zealand, the shipping lines are regularly skipping Auckland port calls every second week on southbound trips, and every second vessel is skipping Oakland calls on the northbound loop. This has reduced the capacity to Oakland by 50% and there remains a large backlog of bookings with the shipping lines due to cancelled sailings that will take months to clear only if weekly Oakland services can resume. There are limited viable alternatives for New Zealand as there are significant delays and/or higher costs for routing via Asia ports, Vancouver, Seattle or Southern California. Plan for additional delays on full load bookings; some consolidation/groupage space may be available for smaller loads, please inquire with your Hillebrand representative.

South Africa
The country’s lockdown has been extended through July 25th which includes a nightly curfew, bans on gatherings, school closures and a ban on alcohol sales. Civil unrest has broken out across the country, in particular in the Durban and Gauteng areas, primarily affecting imports. Export movements via Cape Town are still operational but on high alert. To ensure the safety of staff, customers and suppliers, truck movements, depots, warehouse and service centers in the affected regions have been temporarily suspended.

United States 
The Port of Oakland currently has the longest vessel queue, with vessel waiting time 15-20 days. Los Angeles and Long Beach wait times are starting to rise again to 5-7 days and Seattle is averaging the same 5-7 days. US East Coast ports are also experiencing vessel wait times and delays to secure truck power.

Intermodal Surcharges
Due to the congestion in the ports and intermodal networks, carriers have announced new surcharges on US truck/rail moves for August in the range of USD 350 as Emergency Intermodal Surcharges and On/Pre-Carriage Congestion Surcharges“. This applies when it is the carrier’s responsibility to coordinate the truck and/or rail moves.

Port of Los Angeles / Pier Pass
The Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) known as PierPass at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach has announced an increase by 2.2%. Effective August 1st,2021 PierPass will be USD 34.21 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) and USD 68.42 for all other non-exempt container sizes. For a list of the program changes view the West Coast MTO Agreement website

Port of Vancouver / Wildfire activity in British Columbia
Canada’s busiest container port will see new delays on top of the current week long vessel waiting time average at the port. Intermodal operations will slow after a wildfire activity in British Columbia has closed one of the two tracks and railroads will slow train speeds and share a single track to the port until the full network can be restored. Both Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) typically run up to 60 trains daily over the two tracks.

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