North American Ocean Ports Congestion – Update

US and Canadian Ports and Rail yards continue to be plagued with congestion due to the continued spike in import volumes.

Horizon International’s US offices continue to work closely with the shipping lines, port operations and trucking companies in order to keep delays to a minimum.

LAX/LGB Terminal Update:

There are currently 14 ships (-8) at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday, June 4th. All terminals are extremely congested due to the spike in import volumes and basis current projections the congestion is expected to last until through the summer.

Changes of destination (COD’s) and container “dig outs” are restricted due to a lack of terminal space. The demand for available labor while improving, still affects all terminal operations, turnaround time for truckers, inter terminal transfers, the number of daily appointments available for gate transactions and delays in vessels operations.

The LAX/LGB rail operations from all terminals continue to deteriorate due to a lack of rail capacity and railcars from the UP rail. This is affecting all on/off dock intermodal.

Oakland Terminal Update

Currently there are 29 ships (+9) at anchor or drifting in the San Francisco Bay area as of June 4th. The three new shore cranes and berth are fully operational now at OICT.

Massive import volumes combined with labor shortages are the biggest drivers of continued congestion and vessel operations delays. While exports and empty inventory have eased recently, congestion focuses on the import surge over the last month. On terminal imports are averaging up to 50% over previous months. Alternative gate hours continue to have low trucker participation. Vessels will be delayed in order to decrease terminal dwell, make room for incoming imports and keep terminals fluid as possible. Yard rehandling and restows on vessels due to change of rotation and additional empty lift out of LAX/LGB is creating further delays. All berths remain occupied.

New York Terminal Update

Berth situation is tight but no extensive delays are expected. Terminal yard utilization continues at manageable levels with import dwell trending lower. Empty stock levels have declined. Terminal gate turn times are currently holding at an acceptable service level. There were no known cases of COVID amongst ILA workforce in the last week.

Savannah Terminal Update

Currently 4 ships (-3) at anchor as of June 4th. Delays up to two days for berthing wide beam vessels. Volumes continue to be steady with high levels of import containers on terminal. New empty stack in yard is helping with over 800 containers being handled by a top lift.

Canadian Terminal and Rail Delays Update:

Terminals: Vancouver, Prince Rupert

High yard utilization at all terminals in Vancouver as a result of increased import volumes. Expected to last well into Q3. Vessel productivity and yard productivity has improved significantly. Berth delays continue in VAN, however these delays have been reduced to 2 to 4 days. PRR yard productivity and berth availability has improved significantly. No delay to vessel berthing.

Rail: Railcar availability remains high and terminals are producing close to daily target.

Terminals: Montreal

All terminals are reporting strong productivity. There are no delays to ship schedules; however, yard utilization remains high.

Dwell time at the Port Terminals:

Halifax – 3.0 Days*
Montreal – 1.4 Days*
Vancouver – 2.2 Days
Prince Rupert – 8.9 Days

Dwell time at the Rail Terminals:

Montreal – 2.8 Days*
Vancouver – 3.0 Days*

Intermodal Operations:

Capacity limitation in certain markets due to import volume spikes and severe drivers’ shortage. Please find main markets, and estimate lead-time to secure capacity below (Note: Lead time refers to timeframe to secure truck power, it is not dwell time):

Market / Average 12-days+:
• Los Angeles, CA (10 days +*) – Long Beach, CA (10 days +*) – Atlanta, GA (15 days) – Charleston, SC (12 days) – Norfolk, VA (14 days) – Savannah, GA (15 days)
Markets / Average 7-days+:
• Baltimore, MD (10 days) – Boston, MA (7 days) – Buffalo, NY (7 days) – Charlotte, NC (8 days) – Columbus, OH (7 days) – Dallas, TX (9 days) – Denver, CO (7 days) – Houston, TX (7 days) – Jacksonville, FL (8 days) – Louisville, KY (7* days) – Miami/PT. Everglades, FL (7 days) – Philadelphia, PA (8 days) – Seattle, WA (10 days) – Tacoma, WA (10 days) – Salt Lake City, UT (7 days) – Memphis, TN (10 days*) – New York, NY (7 days) – Portland, OR (8 days) – Kansas City, MO (8 days*)
Markets / Average 4-days +:
• Birmingham, AL – Chicago, IL – Cincinnati, OH – Council Bluff, IA – Detroit, MI – El Paso, TX -Greensboro, NC – Greer, SC – Huntsville, AL – Indianapolis, IN – Laredo, TX – Minneapolis, MN – Oakland, CA – Pittsburgh, PA – Santa Teresa, NM – Saint Louis, MO

Chassis Pools:

With the recent unprecedented Import volumes, there is currently a historically high demand for chassis throughout the USA. This demand has shown to be persistent on 40ft chassis and intermittent on 20ft chassis. In order to minimize any negative impact on supply chains a significant reduction in the dwell times is needed. Truckers may face serious challenges and delays in securing good order chassis as long as this surge in imports continues.