Regional Updates in North America

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 in North America

+++ last updated on 23 July +++


  • 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 30 ships at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday July 23rd.   All terminals are extremely congested with high utilization 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 lack terminal space and customers are urged to continue to expedite the pickup of their import containers and inform any import COD requests at least four working days before the start of vessel operations. Hapag-Lloyd is currently facing limited single empty return options and restricted mainly to dual transactions. Local trucking delays have been reduced and are expected to continue improving. The LAX/LGB rail operations from all terminals continues to deteriorate due lack of rail capacity and railcars from both rail providers.  This is affecting all on/off dock intermodal moves

  • This week, on an average, vessel are waiting at least two days after arrival before catching gangs
  • Vessel Gang Demand Metric – eek 29-2021 (7/10/21 – 7/16/21)
    • 211 gangs were shorted. 1,190 allocated orders were filled
    • Total gangs ordered: 1,401 ~ Percentage of ordered gangs filled 2021 to date: 86.67%

New York Terminal Update:

Terminals – USNYC   

Berth utilization continues to be high at all terminals, but vessel arrival delays are running at less than 1 day.   
Labor’s summer vacations continue to have an adverse effect on yard turn times and productivity throughout the port.
Terminal yard utilization is stable with less import dwell, but still pushing maximum capacity limits with empty stocks starting to
increase again.  Gate turn times at a few terminals continue to be slightly over acceptable service levels due to yard congestion. 
Some terminals are offering Saturday gates to facilitate increased import deliveries.

Savannah Terminal Update:

Currently 12 ships at anchor as of July 23rd.   Berth dredging will resume ' tentatively ' in August for CB08-CB09.  All berths available except CB01 - continued maintenance.  Exports hit record high 50,000 on Monday.  Imports remain at high volumes for the foreseeable future. There continues to be aggressive training with RTG drivers to keep road truck turn times to a minimum. Last month 20 RTG drivers were deployed from their training and 7-10 more over the next few weeks with an additional 20 over next 8 months.  Stacks behind berths 7-8-9 for additional empties is still in progress and should be complete early October.  Rail / Gate and Empties running fluid.  GPA is investing in new RTG cranes to increase yard capacity in the same terminal footprint.  These assets are approved and scheduled to be deployed in 2023.

Houston Terminal Update:

There are currently 4 ships at anchor in Houston as of July 23rd.  Terminal import pads are full at Barbours Cut.  Ships labor is being metered by shorting gangs so that imports can be dispatched off the terminal to make room for more cargo.  Terminal is short of chassis needed for certain import discharge.  Empty capacity has been reached on terminal and some lines are having to find additional space off terminal.  Deadheading empty containers is needed but also delayed due to ships working with metered labor and gangs. 

Oakland Terminal Update: 

Currently there are 10 ships at anchor or drifting in the San Francisco Bay area as of July 23rd.  The Port of Oakland continues to move its cargo volume numbers toward record territory. At the same time, more cargo presents enormous operating challenges for marine terminals and ocean carriers at Oakland.  The port saw a 26% increase in June vs. May 2021.  Current berthing delays are at 6-8 days, however the port is expecting this to ease by the fall as more dockworkers are hired and trained in the coming weeks.  Export receiving windows are shrinking from 4 to 3 days in some cases to assist with volume on terminal.   Alternative night gate hours continue to have low trucker participation.   All berths remain occupied.

Seattle/Tacoma Terminal Update:

All Seattle/Tacoma terminals are operating at full capacity. There are currently 8 vessels at anchor awaiting berth as of July 23rd.   Berthing delays are up to 7 days at this time due to heavy volumes.  Vessel omissions and change of rotation are expected due to the delays.  Saturday gates are now being offered to alleviate backlog of imports. Terminals are not accepting empty containers until vessels sail making room for additional inventories.   Additional space has been provided to hold empty containers at T-5 in Seattle and West Hylebos in Tacoma allowing some additional empty returns for Hapag-Lloyd.  Rail car shortages to get imports off the dock is a major contributing factor to the overall congestion.  NWSA investments in T-5 are not slated to fully open until 2022 which will bring much needed additional capacity to the region.  Chassis counts remain low due to the surge in imports. 

Canadian Terminal Delays Update:


Berth fluidity in Vancouver has improved and productivity has increased at GCT.  Ships are still facing delays in the range of 5-7 days.
Rail:  British Columbia continues to contend with wild fires across the province and recently issued a state of emergency.  CP Rail and CN Rail continue to operate trains at safe speeds and continue to monitor the situation closely.  Rail operations at GCT have improved and daily production is running at 90%, with expectations to return to full productivity by Monday next week.
All terminals are experiencing a shortage of labor, resulting in delays to ship schedules.  This is expect to continue throughout the summer months.  Rail car supply has increased, resulted in reduced dwell times at all terminals.  Rail dwell is presently 3.4 days. 

Intermodel 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):

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

  • New York, NY - Average 6.8 days
  • MMR rail New York, NY – Average 1.7 days
  • Long Beach, CA – Average  8.6 days
  • Los Angeles, CA – Average 9.9 days
  • Charleston, SC – Average  5.9 days
  • Savannah, GA – Average 6.9 days
  • Norfolk, VA – Average 6.7 days
  • Kansa City, MO – Average 10.26  days
  • Chicago, IL - Average 8.0 days
  • Memphis, TN – Average 9.0 days
  • Detroit, MI –  Average 8.6 days
  • Dallas, TX – Average 3.3 days
  • Houston, TX – Average 5.5 days
  • Halifax, CAN – Average 2.3 days port
  • Saint John, CAN – Average 2.4 days port
  • Montreal, CAN – Average 3.4 days port; 1.6 days ramp
  • Vancouver, CAN – Average 3.2 days port; 4.6 days ramp
  • Prince Rupert, CAN – Average 0.0 days port

For all details please check the PDFs at the bottom of this page

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, customers are asked to take immediate steps to reduce container and chassis off terminal dwell time. This includes all inland terminals as well as port terminals.  Without a significant reduction in the dwell times, truckers may face serious challenges and delays in securing good order chassis as long as this surge in imports continues.

  • USCHI – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USDET – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USIND – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USLUI – Deficit on 20’ and 40’ chassis.
  • USHOU – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USTPA – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USNYC – Constrained on 40’ chassis.
  • USMKC – Constrained on 40’ chassis.
  • USSTL – Constrained on 40’ chassis.
  • USSEA – Constrained on 20’ and deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USTIW – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • USLAX/USLGB – Deficit on 20’ and 40’ chassis.

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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