Regional Updates in North America

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 in North America

+++ last updated on 19 February +++


  • All of the U.S. and Canada operations continue to run normally with most of our employees doing telework. We are ready to service your transportation needs. 
  • Phases of reopening have commenced across the U.S. and Canada with varying protocols and restrictions.
  • While we continue to have essential staff in our offices handling your documentation needs, we are encouraging all customers to:
    - Use all available digital tools on our website at or on the Hapag-Lloyd App (Web bookings, E-Shipping Instructions, Quick Quotes, Navigator, etc.)
    - Use email for general inquiries (email addresses can be found in the “Offices and Local Info” section of our website) and phone calls for urgent matters / escalations only.
    - Visit terminal websites for the most up to date information.


Terminal Operations

LAX/LGB Vessel/Terminal Delay Update:

There are currently 34 ships at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday Feb 19th. All terminals continue to be congested due to the spike in import volumes. Customers are urged to expedite the pickup of import containers. Moreover, terminals are working 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. There can be switching of vessel terminal assignments due to lack of space due terminal congestion that 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 with limited single empty returns and restricted dual transactions. Trucking is currently heavily delayed on all door and ramp intermodal moves.

The port authority recently made statements in the media supporting improving the labor situation in light of COVID:

  • The health and safety of our workers is our top priority.
  • Our dock workers have been on the job every day since the emergency orders were put in place last March. We need to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • We have sites at the Port of Los Angeles identified for a mass vaccination center. We’ve got the property, we’ll mobilize people to get this done when we get the word. It’s another way we can assist.
  • The ILWU and PMA have worked together to put safety precautions in place, including designated cleaning breaks, regular testing and following all county health protocols. All steps from Los Angeles County health services are being followed.
  • Additionally, the Port of Los Angeles has assisted donating masks, sanitizer and other safety products.
  • Back in December, the Port of Los Angeles co-signed a letter with other industry leaders directed to Gov. Newsom asking to elevate our longshore workers to Phase One B, Tier One.
  • About 700 longshore men and women have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus out of a total pool of approximately 15,000 (including casuals). There has been a significant uptick in cases since Thanksgiving. There have been spot shortages of labor on the docks in recent weeks, with the surge of cargo also playing a significant factor.  

Oakland Terminal Update:

Currently have 14 ships at anchor in the San Francisco Bay as of Friday Feb 19th.  Vessel bunching continues with 10% labor reduction due to COVID concerns and ships coordinating at berth plug in for cold ironing.  OICT has a berth out of commission due to new crane arrivals which are being assembled now.  Move count for Oakland is up, especially the amount of restows as some vessel strings have also diverted to call Oakland in advance of LAX/LGB adding to the number of ships off pro forma.  PMA is working to get more labor through equipment operator training to expand the pool of labor.  All berths are occupied. 

New York Terminal Delay Update:
Terminals – USNYC

Berth congestion has slightly increased with some vessels waiting upwards of 2-3 days for a berth at various terminals.  Main factor causing the congestion continues to be weather related delays. Expect this congestion to continue for the next 1-2 weeks.  Dwell times for import volumes continue to be high and are being further impacted by bunching vessels and weather related terminal closures.  Gate turn times for truckers continue to be above normal for all terminals.  Most terminals are offering Saturday gates and some extended hours to help reduce trucker wait times.

Currently 11 ships at anchor as of Friday 19th. Persistent fog closures this week has caused congestion on the terminal. Imports dwelling continue to move to Ocean Terminal for pick up to make room for incoming imports in the pads. Due to lack of fluidity, terminal is now very congested. Port remains 2 ships open per service at any given time. Current focus is getting empties off the port.

Canadian Terminal Delays Update:


There are currently 7 ships at anchor awaiting berths in Vancouver.  High yard utilization at all terminals in Vancouver as a result of high import volumes.  Expected to last well into Q2.  Productivity continues to be impacted as a resulted of reduced railcar supply and delayed ships. Berth delays at VAN and PRR continues with vessels being held off berth for days.


Severe cold weather across Canada has resulted in shorter trains and reduced speeds with both CN and CP.  Improvement is expected in the coming days.

Intermodel Operations

Severe weather across the central US has caused many rail and depots to cease operations during Week 7.  Rail closures up to of 72 hrs has impacted movement of cargo.  These closures are restricting movement into the inland destinations which will result in backlog at ports.

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 (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+:

  • Charleston, SC -  Charlotte, NC – Columbus, OH - Dallas, TX – Houston, TX – Jacksonville, FL – Kansas City, MO - New Orleans, LA -  Philadelphia, PA – Seattle, WA – Tacoma, WA


Markets / Average 4-days +:

  • 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 - Miami/PT. Everglades, FL - Minneapolis, MN -  Oakland, CA - Pittsburgh, PA – Portland, OR – Salt Lake City, UT – Santa Teresa, NM

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. USMES – Constrained on 40’/45’ chassis due to demand.

  • USCHI – Constrained on 40’ chassis due to surge in demand.
  • USDET – Deficit on 40’/45’ chassis due demand and street dwells.
  • USTPA – Constrained on 40’ chassis due to demand.
  • USOMA – Deficit on 40’/45’ chassis due to street dwells.
  • USTIW – Constrained on all chassis sizes at certain terminals due to restricted receiving. 
  • USOAK – Constrained on all size types chassis due high demands, limited receiving windows for export.
  • USLAX/USLGB – Pool of Pools seeing stressed chassis inventory in all terminal locations.

Railway OperationsPlease note details:

Current average dwell times for Hapag-Lloyd boxes at several terminals / ramps (includes, MH, rail and truck moves):

  • New York, NY - Average 5.4 days
  • MMR rail New York, NY – Average 2.4 days
  • Long Beach, CA – Average 15.6  days
  • Los Angeles, CA – Average 11.2 days
  • Charleston, SC – Average 3.1 days
  • Savannah, GA – Average 4.5 days
  • Norfolk, VA – Average 4.9 days
  • Kansas City, MO – Average 7.5 days
  • Chicago, IL -  Average 6.1 days
  • Memphis, TN – Average  4.7 days
  • Detroit, MI –  Average 4.4 days
  • Halifax, Canada – Average 4.0 days port
  • Montreal, Canada – Average 1.9 days port, 1.5 days ramp
  • Vancouver, Canada – Average 3.0 days port, 2.6 days ramp
  • Prince Rupert, Canada – Average 5.7 days port  

Customer Service

We strongly invite our customers to use our e-tools (Web-Booking and EASI) for submitting bookings and Shipper Instructions.

For customer inquiries, we encourage customers to use email as the primary method of contact with our Customer Service teams. We are monitoring emails and answering them as expeditiously as possible.

For urgent escalations only, you can still use phone calls. However please note that we are experiencing high call volumes and longer than normal waiting times.

For vessel/container/booking status and sailing schedules information, customer should visit our Online Business section at our Hapag-Lloyd website.

For Dangerous Good Cargo terminal gate acceptance, we strongly recommend customers to send us electronic copies of their Export Hazardous Declarations to be uploaded in their DG bookings.

For faster BL release at destination, under the current COVID-19 conditions, we encourage customers to switch from OBL to SWB, if any assistance is needed please reach out to your customer service documentation team.

For payments, we encourage customers to use our online payment option:

PayCargo - For single invoice, demurrage and detention payments - quickest release of cargo.

ACH/Wires - Suggested for USA when paying multiple invoices, please expect 24-48 hours for processing and cargo release.

Reach out to your local customer service representative here.

In answer to customers request to receive Motor Carriers contact details: The process is to allow the motor carriers to confirm the appointments directly with the loading facility. We believe we can provide better service by allowing our Intermodal team, the trucker and the loading facility to work together. It is the role of the motor carrier and the supplier to make the necessary connection to schedule loading. Any customers wishing to remain informed of the loading details should remain in direct contact with the supplier/loading-unloading facility to confirm if/when the activity has been scheduled. For exports: in general appointments are scheduled within 5-7 days of the requested loading and is further guided by the ERD of the rail/port. For imports, appointments are scheduled once all import requirements have been met (Customs clearance, OBL or SWB submitted, payment of freight and delivery order instructions received), 5 days prior to last free day. If the supplier has not heard from the trucker within 72 business hours of the cutoff, or for imports all receipt of 5days - 4 requirements rule, or if the driver has missed the scheduled appointment please contact us directly.

Click below to find more information about RNA Ports and the links to their COVID-19 updates.

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