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Here's an update on the United States rail situation

September 16, 2022 Update - We shared the below guidelines in the event of a strike. Please note that the strike has been called off, and thus, the below guidelines do not apply.

September 15, 2022 Update - Every day millions, of tons of containerized cargo moves on the North American rail systems. A shut down to these means of transport would create a major impact to an already stressed supply chain. From past rail operation impact, an immediate increase in port congestions would be expected. The main reasons for congestion would stem from rail cargo blocking space with eventual effects to vessel operations, vessel schedules, among others.

At this time, the long haul truck transport alternatives are very limited, if available at all. It is important to highlight that intra-Canada moves are expected not to be impacted by the Labor negotiations in the USA.

With your cargo planning in mind, we would like to provide with the below road map for any changes that might be required and that you might wish to consider due to the potential strike that you may wish to consider for cargo, both to and from the USA.

Import cargo to the United States

  • Containers currently on Vessels
    In case Shippers or Consignees would like to change shipments from rail inland and terminate at the Port of Discharge, Hapag-Lloyd will waive the Change of Destination (COD) Fee.
    We would ask you to please contact our import customer service at [email protected] and for Los Angeles / Long Beach customers, [email protected]

  • Containers currently at Port of Discharge
    In case Shippers or Consignees would like to change shipments from rail inland and terminate at the Port of Discharge, Hapag-Lloyd will waive the COD Fee.
    We would ask you to please send an e-mail with the COD request to [email protected] and for  Los Angeles / Long Beach customers, [email protected]
    Please note that all Port storage charges will be for the account of the cargo owner. Note that with expected increased congestion due to rail backlogs, accessing containers at the terminal will be increasingly difficult.

  • Containers currently on rail
    Containers on rail will not be accessible until they have been grounded at destination.

  • Containers currently Grounded at Rail Yard
    Containers currently grounded at the rail yard will be accessible for pickup within the usual processes. Labor negotiations currently involve the train operation teams and not the yards.
    For Carrier Haulage / Merchant Haulage final mile Rail Storage will apply unless the respective Rail operator advises differently

Export Cargo from the USA

  • Containers booked but not delivered to Rail Yard
    Irrespective of Carrier or Merchant Haulage first mile, the rail operators may accept delivery into the ramp. Please keep in mind that the labor negotiations are with the teams operating the trains and not the yards. Expect yards to fill quickly as trains will not move, which eventually will lead to congested-driven shut downs. We recommend to update your booking to alternative routings if available. Kindly use our online booking amendment tool.

  • Containers currently at the Rail Yard / CY
    Containers already delivered awaiting rail transport to port of exit can be accessed in case different arrangements are being made. Kindly use our online booking amendment tool to change your booking and our team will cancel the rail billing and provide a pick-up number for the equipment.

  • Containers currently on the rail
    Containers currently en route will not be accessible until they are grounded at the destination ramp.

  • Containers at destination Rail Yard
    Containers will be accessible and will be moved to port exits as soon as possible.

  • Containers at the Port
    Containers already transferred to the port, grounded in Terminals with on dock rail connections will move as planned

To assist your cargo planning, please use the following online tools to track your cargo:

You can access regular updates about the labor negotiations at raillaborfacts.org

We will continue to cover the rail updates and publish them in our Operational and Customer service updates, where you will also find a table with the latest services and cargo affected by this situation.

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