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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 38 ships (+7) at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday August 20th. Both ports are seeing record volumes month after month and the ships at anchor are delayed an average of 5.5 days. Delays forcing the ships to wait at anchor are expected to continue for the remainder of the year. All terminals remain extremely congested and evaluating a reduction on their window for export cargo acceptance from four to three days.

The expected spike on imports generated by the peak season and cargo pre-shipped is already here making the operation more complex. Changes of destination (COD's) and container "dig outs" are very restricted due to lack terminal space. 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 and the industry in general are facing limited single empty return options and many time restricted to dual transactions. Local trucking delays have been reduced and are being closely monitored. The LAX/LGB rail operations from all terminals and the off dock ramps continues to deteriorate as demand exceeds capacity, therefore inland moves by rail can suffer considerable delays.

Oakland Terminal Update:

Currently there are 4 ships (-1) at anchor or drifting in the San Francisco Bay area as of August 20th. OICT berth availability has greatly improved with berth delays down to 3 days. Three cranes in berth 55 are in the process of being dismantled.

Import rail loads are taking longer than normal to move off the terminal and OICT continues to use their off dock CY to move local imports out of the pads to expedite space. Trapac berth delays have not decreased and are still at 10+ days.

Import space is over 150% utilized. Truckers and shippers are encouraged to pick up freight and to use the night gates to help the situation The Port of Oakland continues to move its cargo volume numbers toward record territory. The ports total cargo volume increased 11.4% over 2020, and expect to handle over 2.6 million containers for the first time ever. At the same time, more cargo presents enormous operating challenges for marine terminals and ocean carriers at Oakland. The port is expecting congestion to ease by the fall as more dockworkers are hired and trained in the coming weeks.

New York Terminal Update:

Berth utilization is very high within the port and arrival delays awaiting available berths are currently running upwards of 4-5 days.

High utilization is expected to continue at least for the next 2-3 weeks with delays causing a cascade effect on inbound vessels looking for open berths. Labor availability, yard turn times, and productivity throughout the port are still being affected by summer vacations. Vessel and yard productivity have been impacted by some severe weather over the last week including high temperatures and severe thunderstorms with high winds.

COVID cases amongst port workers continue to be of concern. Terminal yard utilization is extremely high as import dwell has increased again by another day over the past week and is now averaging around 6 days, and empty stock levels are higher than normal with less empty loaders being able to get berths to load out surplus as regular services take priority. Gate turn times at a few terminals continue to be over acceptable service levels due to yard congestion. Some terminals are offering Saturday gates to facilitate increased import deliveries.

Savannah Terminal Update

Currently 18 ships (+5) at anchor as of August 20th. Ships are delayed 4-6 days awaiting berth assignment. Berth Congestion is not going to get better in foreseeable future with minimum 10 ships at anchor.
The expansion behind 7-8-9 will be open end of 3rd Qtr. with 4 more RTG's (Rubber Tired Gantries) in that area. Massive Imports continue - yard manager reports 90% capacity with 85,000 loads and empties on terminal.

Seattle Terminal Update*:

All Seattle/Tacoma terminals are operating at full capacity. There are currently 12 vessels (+4) at anchor awaiting berth as of August 20th. Berthing delays in Seattle are up to 12 days at this time due to heavy volumes. Vessel omissions and change of rotation are expected due to the delays.

Saturday gates at HUSKY 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. T18 in Seattle has started to pile import containers in inaccessible areas until there is additional space in the transrows as imports depart the terminal.

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.

Houston Terminals Update*:

There are currently 3 ships (-2) at anchor in Houston as of August 20th. Berth waiting time can be up to 72 hrs. Capacity of the terminal is approximately 90% utilized. Terminal import pads are full at Barbours Cut and the port has started using the rail yard past C7 for additional import stacks as well as moving ships between terminals to relieve congestion at Barbours Cut. There have been several crane issues at Barbours Cut with one crane being down now for a month with estimated return end of September. Reefer plugs are now an issue with all plugs being utilized.

Chassis availability has been impacting operations due to the spikes in volume.

Canadian Terminal and Rail Delays Update:

Terminals: Vancouver, Prince Rupert

There are currently 3 ships at anchor awaiting berths in Vancouver. Berth fluidity has improved however terminal productivity continues to struggle. 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 the state of emergency remains in effect. CP Rail and CN Rail continue to operate trains at safe speeds and continue to monitor the situation closely. Yard utilization at GCT is high and rail operations are producing approx. 65% of daily target due to shortage of railcar supply by both railways.

Port dwells are presently at 4.0 Days for Vancouver, 0 days for Prince Rupert


Terminals: Montreal

All terminals continue to experience a shortage of labor, resulting in delays to ship schedules. This is expect to continue through the month of August and into September. Port dwells are presently 3.3 days

Rail car supply remains stable.


Terminals: Halifax and Saint John

  • Halifax, CAN – Average 7.4 days* port
  • Saint John, CAN – Average 1.4 days* port

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 at the following link on our website. (Note: Lead time refers to timeframe to secure truck power, it is not dwell time): North America

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.

  • Chicago (USCHI) – Constrained on 20’ and deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Louisville (USLUI) – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Houston (USHOU) – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Detroit (USDET) – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Kansas City (USMKC) – Constrained on 40’ chassis.
  • New York (USNYC) – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Seattle (USSEA) – Constrained on 20’ and deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Tacoma (USTIW) – Deficit on 40’ chassis.
  • Los Angeles / Long Beach (USLAX/USLGB) – Deficit on 20’ and 40’ chassis.

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 9 days*
  • MMR rail New York – Average 2.2 days
  • Long Beach, CA – Average 11 days*
  • Los Angeles, CA – Average 12.4 days*
  • Charleston, SC – Average 9.1 days*
  • Savannah, GA – Average 8 days*
  • Norfolk, VA – Average 7.8 days*
  • Kansas City, MO – Average 13.6 days
  • Chicago, IL - Average 8 days*
  • Memphis, TN – Average 8 days*
  • Detroit, MI – Average 11.4 days*
  • Dallas, TX – Average 4.5 days*
  • Houston, TX – Average 8.2 days

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