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North America - Operational Update

In order to better inform you of the operational situation within USA and Canada, we would like to inform you that our Region North America - Operations & Customer Service Advisory notices are now posted directly to the website in the Offices and Local Information > North America > USA section. In particular, you can find them at the bottom of the Local Information page.

Those items where status has changed from the previous report are identified by an asterisk (*)

With the large number of congested ports and ships awaiting berths, please understand that the dates for arrivals / departures and cut-offs are constantly changing. Please check our Online Business section regularly for updates on this information.

Terminal Operations:

LAX/LGB Terminal Update:

There are currently 26 ships (-5 from March 1st) at anchor out of which 24 are container vessels awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday March 12th. All terminals continue to suffer from severe congestion due to the spike in import volumes. Changes of destination (COD's) and container "dig outs" are restricted due to limited terminal space. Customers are urged to continue to expedite the pickup of import containers and inform any COD requests at least four days before the start of vessel operations.
While all the port employees have started to be vaccinated, the terminals continue to work with limited labor and split shifts (COVID-19 related). The demand for available labor affects all terminals, turnaround time for truckers, inter terminal transfers, the number of daily appointments available for gate transactions and generates delays in vessels operations. Due to terminal congestion, there can be switching of vessel terminal assignments. This must be kept in mind if doing over weight bookings that are supposed to be going on dock but end up in the wrong terminal or the UP off dock terminal. Hapag-Lloyd is currently shut out at all terminals facing extremely limited single empty return options and restricted dual transactions.

Trucking continues to be heavily delayed due to lack of trucking power - generated by terminal congestion and COVID-19 - on all door and ramp intermodal moves. The UP rail has limited the access to many US inland ramps due to capacity constraints and railcar shortages. This has created a serious backlog in all the on/off dock rail services ex SoCal to all main destinations and is generating delays of more than a week into some inland ramps.

Oakland Terminal Update:

Currently 19 ships (+6) at anchor or drifting in the San Francisco Bay area as of Friday March 12th. Berth congestion continues to worsen with ships waiting up to 7 shifts at anchorage or beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. OICT has a berth out of commission due to new crane arrivals which are being assembled now. Labor demand remains high in the port due to increased imports, vessels diverting to Oakland as first port of call, yard rehandling and restows. Export receiving is strictly controlled, causing pain points for truckers; however, this is mainly due to vessel schedule integrity. All berths remain occupied.

New York Terminal Update:

Berth congestion is not currently a big issue with most vessels being able to get a berth upon arrival. There are currently no ships at anchor. Dwell times for import volumes continue to be higher than normally expected.
Empty containers are a major issue in the port area with terminal inventories at maximum capacity. In some cases terminals are restricting empty returns, which, in turn, is having an adverse impact on available chassis inventory and truck power. Where possible empty loader vessels are being employed to evacuate surplus inventory.
Gate turn times for truckers are above normal for all terminals and depots and port roadways are often congested due to long truck lines at various facilities. Most terminals are offering Saturday gates and some extended hours to help reduce trucker wait times.

Savannah Terminal Update

Currently 20 ships (+4) at anchor as of March 12th. Vessels are waiting up to 4-5 days to obtain a berth. Periods of river closures due to fog in previous weeks contributed to the current backlog, however weather conditions have improved. Wide beam vessels lead to scheduling conflicts and additional coordination with one vessel in the river at a time.

Yard congestion has improved from previous weeks. Exports remain two ships open at any given time per service. Empties are a main focus in getting off the port – whether by ship or rail. Additional new labor on dock are still training.

Canadian Terminal and Rail Delays Update:


High yard utilization at all terminals in Vancouver as a result of high import volumes. Expected to last well into Q2. Vessel and yard productivity has improved, as has rail car supply. This resulted in increased fluidity on terminal.

Berth delays at VAN and PRR continues with vessels being held off berth for days.
Dwell time at the Port Terminals:

  • Halifax – 2.9 Days*
  • Montreal – 3.1 Days*
  • Vancouver – 2.5 Days
  • Prince Rupert – 8.3 Days*


Car supply into Vancouver has improved and import dwells remain below average.

Dwell time at the Rail Terminals:

  • Montreal – 1.6 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+:
o Los Angeles, CA (30 days +) - Long Beach, CA (30 days +) - Atlanta, GA (15 days) - Baltimore, MD (14 days) - Memphis, TN (14 days) - New York, NY (15days) - Norfolk, VA (14 days) - Savannah, GA (15 days)

Markets / Average 7-days+:
o Charleston, SC (10days) - Charlotte, NC (8days) – Columbus, OH (7days) - Dallas, TX (7days) – Houston, TX (7days) – Jacksonville, FL (8days) – Kansas City, MO (10days) - New Orleans, LA (7days) - Philadelphia, PA (10days) – Seattle, WA (7days) – Tacoma, WA (7days)

Markets / Average 4-days +:
o Birmingham, AL - Boston, MA - Buffalo, NY - Chicago, IL - Cincinnati, OH - Council Bluff, IA - Greensboro, NC - Greer, SC - Huntsville, AL - Indianapolis, IN - Laredo, TX - Louisville, KY - Minneapolis, MN - Oakland, CA - Pittsburgh, PA - Portland, OR - Salt Lake City, UT - Santa Teresa, NM - Miami/PT. Everglades, FL

Chassis Pools:

Current chassis pool operations are improving in many markets. Below are the current locations where chassis inventory remains a concern. Shippers are urged to return containers to help improve the availability. Over 5000 chassis have been injected into various chassis pools across the US to keep up with the influx of imports. Repair vendors are working overtime and weekends to keep up with the requirements to provide safe and reliable assets.

  • New York (USNYC) – Deficit on 40’ chassis due to surging demand and street dwell.
  • Chicago (USCHI) – Deficit on 40’ chassis due to surge in demand.
  • Detroit (USDET) – Deficit on 40’/45’ chassis due to demand and street dwells.
  • Columbus (USCMH) – Constrained on 20’ chassis due to demands and long street dwells.
  • Dallas (USDAL) – Deficit on 40’ chassis due to demands.
  • Kansas City (USMKC) – Constrained on 40’ chassis due to high demand and street dwell.
  • El Paso (USELP) – Constrained on 40’ chassis due to demand and street dwell.
  • Tacoma / Seattle (USTIW/USSEA) – Constrained on 20’ chassis due to demands
  • Oakland (USOAK) – Constrained on all size types chassis due high demands, limited receiving windows for export.
  • Los Angeles / Long Beach (USLAX/USLGB) – Pool of Pools seeing deficits on all chassis inventory in all terminal locations

Railway Operations:

Please Note: Current average dwell times for Hapag-Lloyd boxes at several terminals / ramps. Includes, MH, rail and truck moves.

  • New York, NY - Average 7.4 days*
  • MMR New York (Elizabeth Marine Terminal-Rail) – Average 4.5 days*
  • Long Beach, CA – Average 12.1 days*
  • Los Angeles, CA – Average 10.9 days*
  • Charleston, SC – Average 4.1 days*
  • Savannah, GA – Average 3.4 days*Norfolk, VA – Average 3.3 days
  • Kansas City, MO – Average 7.0 days
  • Chicago, IL - Average 5.2 days*
  • Memphis, TN – Average 3.9 days*
  • Detroit, MI – Average 5.5 days*

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