The BOC Blast 380 – BOC Bullets to Help the USA Importer During the Current Shipping Crisis

BOC Bullets to Help the USA Importer During the Current Shipping Crisis

After another challenging shipping week, here are some tips and market updates we wanted to share to help our customers deal with this current shipping crisis.

1. Instruct your factories in Asia to inspect all empty containers very closely when picking up and loading for any holes or signs of damage. Your vendor should follow the 7 point inspection guidelines ( and take detailed pictures of the inside and outside of the container, including capturing the container number in the photos. This inspection process is your best protection to help your cargo from getting water damage. With a shortage of containers, many Container Yards are releasing lower grade containers that might not be seaworthy and leak water on your cargo.

2. Consider using the premium ocean services for urgent cargo. We see even spot rate ocean cargo (which generally gets priority) being rolled at origin or stuck at transshipment ports for one to three weeks. In the past 45 days, the ocean carriers are rolling approximately 1 of 3 all containers in the Transpacific market.

3. Plan for 1-2 week delays of availability for arriving cargo to the USA because of record volumes, lack of chassis, slow unloading and loading of vessels at the congested origin and destination ports, and extreme global trucking shortages. We have seen some USA truckers refuse to accept delivery orders from their regular USA import customers for 2-4 weeks. The delays unloading the vessels arriving LA/LB are being exacerbated by a shortage of stevedores at LA/LB terminals due to additional gangs being assigned for each shift because of the full ships, larger ships and extra loaders being deployed. One notable volume record was the Port of LA reported their largest container month ever in September – 888,625 TEU – and no blank sailings.

4. Ship essential goods early, well before the Chinese New Year holidays begins on February 12th. Door to door delivery times are expected to continue to be delayed well into 2021, and Asian bookings remain very strong with November space almost entirely consumed. We are also seeing Shipping Orders (SO’s) being released very late by the ocean carrier just prior to vessel cutoffs. The ocean carriers are intentionally delaying the SO’s to enable them to capture as much as possible of the higher-priced premium cargo and delay shipping the lower-priced fixed cargo to maximize their profits. Overall, market capacity is continuing to worsen. Due to lack of charter vessels and equipment shortages, the carriers so far have deployed an inadequate amount of TP November extra loaders with COSCO only adding three sweepers in weeks 45, 46, and 47 to USWC and Maersk providing some limited relief with Suez service transshipping over Europe to the USEC.

5. Prepare for higher air freight costs in the coming weeks. There are substantial rises in air freight prices on major lanes out of China and other parts of Southeast Asia, as surges in demand meet continuing constrained capacity due to Covid’s devastation of the PAX market.  The simultaneous deluge of air freight caused by the launches of new versions of products(Apple’s 5G phones, Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, etc.), growing demand for 2nd wave PPE items, and a final push to move holiday gifts creates the perfect storm.

Please contact your BOC representative to help you with these issues or any other specific problems. We will get through this crisis together.

The BOC Blast 379 – Chassis shortage in likely to persist into 2021

Chassis shortage in likely to persist into 2021

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Published on

Intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) say while they are making an all-out effort to remedy chassis shortages in Southern California, the shortages will likely persist into next year if the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continue to handle record import volumes from Asia.

IEPs and truckers blame inefficiencies at marine terminal gates as a major cause of the chassis shortages, and want the ports to require that ocean carriers share advance shipment information that will increase cargo velocity throughout the supply chain.

The IEPs note that pushing record container volumes through the Southern California supply chain over the past three months has stretched the assets and manpower of marine terminals, truckers, railroads, and distribution warehouses beyond capacity. They say it is unfair to single out chassis providers as the weakest link in the chain, especially because the IEPs are taking charge of those issues over which they have control, such as repairing out-of-service chassis.

“We are maxed out on fixing bad-order chassis. Our mechanics are working flat out. We couldn’t employ one more mechanic,” said Ron Widdows, CEO of Flexi-Van Leasing. DCLI, TRAC Intermodal, and Flexi-Van operate the Pool of Pools through which the three IEPs manage the fleet of interoperable chassis in Southern California.

Truckers, meanwhile, say the issues that contribute to inefficiencies in the Southern California supply chain have been well known for years and did not suddenly emerge because imports from Asia recovered faster than anticipated this summer. Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA), said the ports’ main failing is they are not doing enough to bring ocean carriers to the table with solutions that will enhance cargo velocity.

“I am sick and tired of the lack of action,” he told Wednesday. “What do they mean, ‘There is too much cargo’? This is what we all do. We move cargo.”

The HTA has called upon port authorities to incentivize — and, if necessary, compel — ocean carriers to share shipment information with other members of the supply chain, so all asset owners are prepared for the cargo volumes they will be handling. In the case of truckers, who suffer the brunt of the delays at marine terminals, the key is for carriers to provide them with reliable shipment information so they can arrange appointments that foster dual transactions, LaBar said.

Dual transactions, which involve hauling an export load or empty container to the terminal and taking delivery of an import load on the same trip, can greatly increase trucker productivity, but dual transactions only account for about 20 percent of trucker visits to the harbor, LaBar said.

“Dual transactions, dual transactions, dual transactions. That’s the solution,” he said.

Import spike expected to continue through January

Shipments of personal protective equipment, e-commerce merchandise, and home improvement goods have been strong since late June as the US economy reopened from initial COVID-19 lockdowns. Imports are expected to continue at a high level until factories in Asia shut down for the annual Lunar New Year holiday beginning Feb. 12, 2021.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in September handled 828,880 TEU of imports from Asia, up 22 percent from September 2019, according to PIERS, a sister company within IHS Markit. In the four-month period from June through September, imports from Asia moving through the largest US container gateway totaled 3.09 million TEU, up 12 percent from the same period last year.

The three IEPs that operate the Pool of Pools in Southern California say they are doing everything they can to expand the chassis pool, which totals about 65,000 units, including purchasing new chassis, repositioning chassis from surplus locations in other parts of the country, and working overtime to repair damaged chassis that are not roadable.

Daily updates on the Pool of Pools website show the IEPs have made great strides in recent months in repairing out-of-service chassis. Some 4,246 units were out of service at the 12 container terminals and four intermodal rail ramps in Southern California as of Wednesday, down from more than 8,000 bad-order chassis in June.

“Our contribution to the Pool of Pools is up,” said Ron Joseph, executive vice president and COO of DCLI. He said DCLI is also repositioning chassis from surplus locations in the Midwest.

Widdows said Flexi-Van’s contributions to the pool actually exceed its original commitment. Flexi-Van in September began deploying the first of 1,500 new-order chassis into its Southern California fleet. “We will continue to acquire new chassis through the end of this year and into next year,” he said.

TRAC Intermodal has new chassis on order, but due to tariff issues between the US and China, the IEP had to shift its purchases to North American suppliers, which delayed the orders, according to Val Noel, executive vice president and COO. The new chassis will begin to arrive in the second quarter of 2021, he said.

Productivity down throughout the supply chain

Port stakeholders have struggled with supply chain challenges all summer and fall. The problems began when distribution warehouses became filled to capacity due to a shortage of workers as COVID-19 cases spiked this summer. Warehouse operators also had to spread workers out at their facilities for safety purposes, which contributed to a decline in productivity.

As a result, the average container/chassis “street dwell” time more than doubled from about 3 days earlier this summer to 7.1 days this week, according to the Pool of Pools website. The average container dwell time at Los Angeles and Long Beach marine terminals rose to 3.25 days from 2.8 days in July, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, while the average truck turn time in September was 77 minutes, up from a record-low 58 minutes in June, according to the HTA’s truck mobility data.

Chassis shortages have also emerged at rail ramps. Union Pacific’s Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), located about five miles from the harbor, has recently begun to ground containers because the Pool of Pools chassis supply tightened, UP spokesperson Raquel Espinoza said. Truckers say that is adding time to their ICTF visits compared with the normal process of taking delivery of containers that have been pre-mounted on chassis.

“We are working cooperatively with truckers to identify and mount stacked containers, but there are some delays since that process is outside of normal operations,” Espinoza said.

Crystal ball hazy

The IEPs are developing their business plans for 2021, but are struggling to project how COVID-19 will affect consumer demand, economic growth, and retailers’ strategies for inventory replenishment and storage, Widdows said.

“What Q2 next near will look like is difficult to map out,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts.” 

LaBar, however, said the problems faced by truckers at marine terminals were present long before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the explosive recovery this summer, and will persist into next year if something isn’t done quickly to improve communication among all of the supply chain partners, beginning with the ocean carriers.

LaBar noted that the Port of Los Angeles has invested millions of dollars in the Port Optimizer to enable the sharing of shipment information through the supply chain, and some of the terminals have invested in platforms that allow for advance sharing of shipment information, but participation by the carriers is still spotty.

“We need leadership from the two ports to make this happen. They need to do something bold to incentivize or compel dual transactions,” LaBar said.

TRAC Intermodal fully supports the sharing of shipment information in advance of vessel arrival, as it would make it easier for truckers to arrange dual transactions, resulting in benefits for the entire supply chain, Noel said.

“Collaboration and better shipment profile insight would be unbelievably valuable,” he said. “That’s a gap in the supply chain.”

The BOC Blast 378 – Drayage shortage crimps supply chain amid quick demand recovery

Drayage shortage crimps supply chain amid quick demand recovery

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Published on

With a rapid resurgence in volume in ports and intermodal ramps, finding drivers to haul containers has become increasingly difficult. Photo credit: Ari Ashe.

The amount of available drayage capacity in the market to handle container movements has dwindled in recent months due to a combination of factors. Those include a quick rebound in volume at ports and inland rail terminals, a slowdown in shippers unloading and returning containers, and drivers exiting the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapid swing in volumes has exacerbated the capacity shortage, as ports and railroads suffered double-digit declines year over year in the second quarter, only to see a quick return to year- over-year growth in the third quarter, according to intermodal marketing and trucking executives.

The supply chain is unaccustomed to such whiplash-like change, according to these executives, which has caused equipment and truck availability to become a problem.

“We find that capacity is limited and most dray carriers are booked out two or three days in advance,” said Jon Krystek, chief operating officer for Knichel Logistics. “The 53-foot drayage market right now is very challenging. Our recovery has plateaued, but it has not been due to the lack of demand, it’s the lack of drivers and equipment.”

Laden imports to the Port of Los Angeles declined nearly 15 percent year over year between February and July, but have risen 22 percent year over year in August and September combined, according to PIERS, a sister product of within IHS Markit. The port of Savannah saw laden imports fall 23 percent between March and July, but they have risen 8.9 percent in August and September year over year, according to PIERS. Savannah and other East Coast ports began to feel the impacts of Chinese factories shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic a month later than the West Coast due to the longer transit times.

Domestic volume grew 9.8 percent year over year in the third quarter, setting a new third quarter intermodal record with 2.4 million units moved, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. While international intermodal fell 6.5 percent year over year in the third quarter, last month’s international rail volume was up nearly 3 percent over September 2019. Domestic volume surged 14.6 percent year over year in September.

CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad illustrate the rapid shifts in volume on the rails. CSX had the weakest second quarter since 2011, while UP had its lowest volume since the Great Recession of 2008-09. In the third quarter, however, both railroads saw volume rise more than 6 percent year over year and grow 20 percent compared with the second quarter, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Ken Kellaway, CEO of drayage provider RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, said it takes time to react to rapid swings in volumes.

“Import volumes into West Coast ports doubled over a one- to two-month period and the drayage capacity and chassis are not available to react to this large of a surge,” he told “This same impact has been felt in most major import and rail intermodal markets nationwide, but to a lesser degree since West Coast ports are the closest access point to Asia. We anticipate this capacity challenge will exist for the next two to three months.”

“The system needs to adjust to the surge and the shipper and the consignee can help with flexibility — that is a big missing link,” added Sam Farruggio, owner of drayage provider Farruggio’s Express.

Finding drivers is a problem

When volume was at a low in the spring, trucking executives said they lost many drivers. Instead of riding out the downturn, they said older drivers decided to retire or take different jobs.

“Demand is extremely high and since most carriers had cut back on hiring earlier this year and fewer new drivers have entered the market, a perfect storm has been created,” said Ben Banks, vice president of drayage provider TCW Inc.

Kellaway said a great deal of drayage capacity left during the pandemic and it’s been hard to find new drivers.

“Many of these drivers have not returned, and have elected to go to other industries or other sectors such as truckload, which is paying a very high premium at the present time due to capacity shortages,” he said.

Dry van spot market rates have risen to levels even higher than in 2018 with a surge in e-commerce shopping and increase in purchases of durable goods such as furniture, appliances, and other home improvement items. Drivers who complained this spring about unsustainable pay on spot loads are now earning some of the highest per-mile rates in history.

Terminal congestion and slow unloading

Farruggio notes that driver productivity is also a real problem. Drivers are completing fewer deliveries per day and therefore more trucks are necessary to handle the same volume as in the past. “The Northeast markets are all short of drivers and the demand exceeds the workforce, the lack of efficient use of the supply of drivers is the real problem,” he said.

It’s an issue J.B. Hunt Transportation Service noted as a core problem in its intermodal results released Oct. 16.

“Rail terminal congestion and a slower pace of unloading at customer destinations have contributed to a meaningful slowdown in the velocity of the supply chain and thus the productivity of our equipment,” Darren Field, J.B. Hunt’s executive vice president of intermodal, said on the company’s earnings call.

Containers and chassis

Field said J.B. Hunt had to turn down business because there weren’t enough available containers to support new opportunities. The container problem has also been a problem on UP’s rail network this summer with rail-owned UMAX and EMP containers. Intermodal logistics executives have told that less than 20 percent of requests for UMAX and EMP containers are being granted in California.

“Some weeks along the way have been a bit better, but to be honest there is no significant improvement since July,” Krystek said.

Chassis issues have popped up on both international and domestic containers, the trucking executives said. Available TRAC Intermodal chassis were running low in Columbus in recent weeks, and TCW’s Banks said availability is also tight in Memphis.

Farruggio said the bigger problem is on the domestic side.

“The international side has done a great job with chassis supply and quality,” he said. “The domestic, 53-foot world has fallen short on supply and quality. Many days we find units on the ground due to no chassis or placed on a bad chassis.”

That’s unusual because J.B. Hunt, Schneider National, and XPO Logistics have their own chassis, and Hub Group and EMP containers are stacked on Norfolk Southern chassis in the East. But it shows just how tight equipment is in the US right now.

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The BOC Blast 377 – Elevated Asia import volumes could last beyond October

Elevated Asia import volumes could last beyond October

The surge of US imports from Asia — with volume growing at double the pace from March through August compared with the same five-month period a year ago — could continue into November or possibly early 2021, well beyond when the peak typically subsides, multiple carrier and forwarder sources tell

Containerized US import volumes from Asia rocketed 91 percent between March and August, according to PIERS, a sister company within IHS Markit. By comparison, inbound shipments from Asia grew 36 percent in the same period in 2019. Total US imports in the five-month period increased 102 percent, compared with a 47 percent expansion in the March-August period in 2019.

“This, combined with the record-level surge in ecommerce, is definitely contributing to an extension of the traditional peak season,” Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM (America), said in a statement to

But with economists believing the sharp economic recovery seen in the US during the third quarter is already sputtering, questions are growing about how long the import surge will last.

“The second-quarter real GDP (gross domestic product) drop in most of the world’s economies was one for the records. The third-quarter rebound is likely to be unusually strong. After that, however, IHS Markit expects recoveries in most of the world’s largest economies to falter,” IHS Markit chief economist Nariman Behravesh said in a recent report. US GDP shrank 31.7 percent in the second quarter, and IHS Markit forecasts a 26 percent rebound in the third quarter. “I think [the import surge] could last a couple more months, but the faltering of key US data, such as retail sales and industrial production, suggests that this is a very temporary phenomenon,” Behravesh told

Volumes overwhelm port operations

The operational impact of an import surge that extends beyond the end of the typical peak is likely more relevant than the market impact on rate levels. If the volumes remain robust through November, it will perpetuate congestion and other operational challenges currently experienced at ports such as

Los Angeles and Long Beach, where terminals are operating at or near full capacity, chassis are in short supply, and drayage productivity is declining. It would also extend the duration of broader challenges such as carriers’ difficulties repositioning empty containers back to Asia.

But even a late-year slowdown in volumes will not necessarily translate into lower rates. Carriers are expected to re-run the playbook of 2020 in curtailing capacity through blank sailings, especially if that helps set a higher baseline for annual contracts negotiated in the spring of 2021.

This year, contract rates agreed to in the spring during the depths of the lockdown ended up being much lower than eventual record-setting spot rates, meaning carriers, despite experiencing a surprisingly profitable year, actually saw only limited benefit from the higher rates.

The highly unusual year of 2020, which industry sources anticipate they will be talking about for years, is culminating in an unusually robust peak season combining both holiday season goods as well as restocking

“We anticipate very robust volumes throughout the end of the year with a specific focus on Vietnam and India as their growth outpaces the market,” Aldridge said. “Our value-added solutions, including our SEAPRIORITY and EXX differentiated services, are also in high demand as our customers replenish their inventories and seek creative ways to get their products to market more quickly.”

The operational impact of an extended peak has industry executives concerned that the hole the industry is in — especially in Southern California — could become deeper and take longer to dig out of.

“Because of the decline in driver productivity related to port congestion, we are going to see the shortfall in driver capacity and containers getting picked up all the way through the peak. It is going to be the middle of November before things lighten up,” said an import distribution executive that asked not to be identified.

That said, the lack of forward-looking visibility into cargo volumes has been a central theme in 2020, and some believe that hasn’t changed. Container carriers, for example, say the length of time it took to restore capacity in the trans-Pacific, which led spot rates to spike to record levels in recent weeks, was due in large part to a lack of accurate forecasts from customers.

“When you go from the depths of demand cratering as recently as March, April, and May, when retailers having completely shut down their supply chains, canceling orders and bookings, how do you then forecast that in a matter of two to three months the top will blow off, with more vessel capacity deployed in the trans-Pacific than ever, historic volumes of e-commerce sales, restocking will be jumping, and that will happen in such a short period of time?” Ron Widdows, CEO of Flexi-Van Leasing, told “All this and there is still no ability to forecast what demand will look like beyond October, let alone next year.

“As we have seen in the past, when there is an unnatural event that results in a significant amount of friction in the transport chain … it really is a bit of the ‘pig-in-the-python’ dynamic; it takes some time to digest and fluidity to return,” he added.

Retail inventories needs restocking

Contributing to the duration of the peak season this year is volumes being driven both by holiday shipments as well as restocking, a phenomenon that is inherently temporary. Inventory-to-sales ratios in June, the latest available reading, fell to 1.2 from 1.35 in May, and were down 11 percent from June 2019, according to the US Census Bureau.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, “retail inventory-to-sales ratios have dropped far more than during the financial crisis, and it therefore is highly likely that efforts to rebuild the inventory levels back to ‘normal’ are currently under way,” said Alan Murphy, founder and CEO of Sea-Intelligence Maritime Analysis. “It seems unlikely that retailers can suddenly operate with inventories at 15 to 20 percent less than just a few months ago, when compared to the retail sales. If this is the case, we know inventory changes are strong drivers of container volumes, but we also know that such a driver is not permanent.”

Behravesh said there are three reasons for diminished expectations for growth after the third quarter.

First, he wrote, “catch-up spending and accelerator effects have pushed consumers’ purchases of durable goods well above the pre-pandemic level; we expect this overshoot to unwind. Second, fiscal support of the expansion dwindles by year-end. Third, COVID-19 infection rates remain stubbornly high and are expected to increase this fall as temperatures cool, activity moves indoors, and many schools and colleges attempt to reopen with in-person learning. In response, consumers and businesses will be slow to resume pre-pandemic behavior.”

The extended ocean peak season will trickle down into trucking and last-mile service, where executives expect a longer and larger peak season as imports continue to pour into US ports.

“We’re coming into the peak holiday season in the next 60 days or so and volumes are going to be off the charts,” said Greg Ritter, chief customer officer of XPO Logistics. “This year’s peak is going to be bigger, faster, it’s going to come quicker and stay longer.

“When we look at our retail customers, we see how busy they are today and they’re not at peak,” Ritter said earlier this week at the 2020 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Edge Conference. “As we get into October, are volumes going to increase? Absolutely. We’ve got more product that is going to hit the West Coast ports and other ports.”

The BOC Blast 376 – USEC Golden Week Blank Sailing Contingency Plans

USEC Golden Week Blank Sailing Contingency Plans

Please be informed that during the upcoming China’s National Golden Week period in October 2020, CMA CGM will make the following service adjustments.

Cargo for the impacted services will be rolled to the next week’s sailing or shifted to the alternative services listed.

Below please find the CMA CGM Blank Sailing Program:

Contingency plans:

PEX 3 – Cargo originally booked on 0PG7XE1MA will be delayed to 0PG7ZE1MA


1. All Boston cargo will load on next Vespucci voyage – EVER LIBERAL (0VC5PE1MA) – ETD Qingdao 13-OCT: ETA delay 7 days

2. Qingdao / Ningbo / Pusan and Pusan transshipment cargo to Charleston to be routed via Hong Kong & will load on the South Atlantic Express – OOCL BRUSSELS (0UP7PE1MA) – ETD Hong Kong 01-OCT: ETA delay 2 days

3. Shanghai cargo to Savannah / Charleston / New York will load on the South Atlantic Express – OOCL BRUSSELS (0UP7PE1MA) – ETD Shanghai 06-OCT

• ETA New York: advance 10 days

• ETA Savannah: delay 2 days

• ETA Charleston: delay 2 days

4. Qingdao / Ningbo / Pusan and Pusan transshipment cargo to Savannah / New York will switch to the Manhattan Bridge Service – COSCO FORTUNE (0MB71E1MA) – ETD Qingdao 04-OCT

• ETA New York: advance 7 days

• ETA Savannah: delay 7 day

The BOC Blast 375 – Golden Week Blank Sailings

Blanking Announcement for Chinese National Holiday On Transpacific Services

Due to expected slow volume pick-up in connection with the upcoming Chinese National Holiday (Golden Week), Maersk endeavours to balance our network to match reduced demand in October. Below you will find a summary of void sailings on Transpacific services. We aim to minimize the impact to our customers by securing reliable alternative routings.

Please feel free to reach out to your local Maersk Customer Service representatives or check and for more details.

Far East Asia to North America

North America to Far East Asia

Eagle Express 1 Void Sailing

Please be informed of the following void sailing that will be implemented on our Asia-North America service in September due to scheduled vessel dry dock.

To minimize impact to our customers, alternative sailings are available for your cargo originally intended on the advised void sailing.

Contingency plan for EX1 – PRESIDENT WILSON

• Cargo from Shanghai / Yangtze area / Indonesia to load on vessel voyage CMA CGM ROSSINI (0TXSUE1MA) ETA Shanghai 23-SEP-2020

• Cargo from Qingdao / Lianyungang / Dalian / Xingang / Ningbo / Philippines / Japan / Korea to load on vessel voyage CMA CGM ROSSINI (0TXSUE1MA) ETA Busan 26-SEP-2020


The following announcement supersedes our announcement of 8 September 2020 about Asia-North America network blank sailings.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company plans to exclude sailings during Golden Week holiday on its Asia-North America Network due to the anticipated slowdown in demand during and after this period.

The change will help us to match capacity with the expected weaker market demand for shipping services. However, you may continue to place bookings as usual as we are arranging alternate routings.

Our blank sailing programme will start as from week 40 as per the below:

Blanking voyage 1E, ETA Tianjin 01.10.2020 To and Via: Kingston, Savannah, Charleston, Jacksonville, Wilmington All shipments from Tianjin, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan will be served via alternative services.
MAPLE service
Blanking voyage UM41N, ETA Nansha 09.10.2020 To and Via: Prince Rupert, Vancouver All shipments from Nansha, Yantian, Shanghai, Busan, Yokohama will be served via alternative services.
SEQUOIA service
Blanking voyage US43N, ETA Yantian 20.10.2020 To and Via: Long Beach All shipments from Yantian, Ningbo will be served via alternative services.
Blanking voyage 10W, ETA Savannah 04.11.2020 To and Via: Busan, Tianjin, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai All shipments from Savannah, Charleston, Jacksonville, Wilmington, Kingston will be served via alternative services.
MAPLE service
Blanking voyage UM44S, ETA Prince Rupert 27.10.2020 To and Via: Nansha, Yantian, Shanghai, Busan, Yokohama All shipments from Prince Rupert, Vancouver will be served via alternative services.
SEQUOIA service
Blanking voyage US46S, ETA Yantian 06.11.2020 To and Via: Yantian, Ningbo All shipments from Long Beach will be served via alternative services.

Golden Week Vessel Idling Program Trans-Pacific Service

(San Francisco, CA)…As a result of reduced demand due to Golden Week holiday we will adjust our network to match expected market demands. Below you will find a summary of void sailings:

In light of the above void sailings, the following return voyages will also be voided.

The BOC Blast 374 – Commercial Invoice Requirements

Commercial Invoice Requirements

Requirements of a commercial invoice, bill of sale, receipt that must be provided when filing entry documents for Customs clearance

A commercial invoice should contain enough information for a Customs Officer to determine if the goods being imported are admissible, and if so, the correct classification and valuation of goods. For further guidance, see the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).

For commercial shipments, the invoice accompanying the importation should include a statement certifying that the goods qualify as originating goods.

There is no specific format for an invoice (see 19 CFR 141.85). However, regulations do provide what information should be included on an invoice.

At a minimum, an invoice should include the following:

  • Detailed description of each item, in English (for US entry)
  • Quantity of each item, along with weight and measure
  • Purchase price of each item, in the currency of the purchase (Ideally, provide the value in origin and destination currency)
  • If the items are shipped otherwise than in pursuance of a purchase, then the Value of each item
  • Terms of sale
  • Country of Origin (where the item was made) of each item
  • Where each item was purchased
  • Name and address of the business or person selling the merchandise
  • Name and address of the business or person buying the merchandise (note if different from the importer)
  • The complete name and address of the business or person the goods are being shipped to

The importer will need to present the commercial invoice to Customs when clearing their goods.

For further guidance on US requirements, see 19 CFR 141.86, contents of invoices and general requirements.

NOTE: Every country has their own specific requirements for commercial invoices

21 Drydock Ave Suite 520W Boston, MA 02210 Phone: 617.345.0050 Fax: 617.345.9595

The BOC Blast 373 – Montreal port strike truce reached

Montreal port strike truce reached, but cargo backlog to last weeks

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Aug 21, 2020 2:37PM EDT,

Montreal port employers say it will take two to four weeks to recover from an approximately 11,500-container backlog caused by a month-long series of labor strikes, after they and longshore workers announced a seven-month truce on Friday.

Leaders from the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said they are confident they will be able to agree to a new contract before the truce expires in March 2021. Both MEA and CUPE expect to reopen the second-largest cargo port in Canada Sunday.

The end of the strike spells the beginning of the end for costly cargo divisions to other container ports. But it remains to be seen whether the strike has eroded Montreal’s competitive edge for cargo headed to and from the US Midwest and the greater Toronto region, as eastern Canadian ports vie for that so-called discretionary cargo.

MEA president Martin Tessier said CUPE representative Michel Murray said they have agreed to modernize labor relations, as the leaders of both sides jointly spoke at a press conference for the first time in 50 years. Tessier lauded port workers as “pillars” of the port economy.

Separately, MEA has also reached an agreement in principle with the port checkers union, represented by the International Longshoremen’s Association, which had joined the CUPE longshore workers in the strike. Employers said the checkers’ executive committee will submit an agreement to its members on Monday.

The current MEA-CUPE labor contract expired at the end of 2018. Starting in early July, port longshore workers launched two four-day strikes before launching an indefinite strike on Aug. 10.

A Thursday afternoon comment from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s minister of economy and innovation, that the closure of the port had a greater economic impact on Canada than the COVID-19 pandemic helped convince both sides to agree to a truce, Tessier said. He and Murray worked through the evening on Thursday to come to terms for a truce.

That was a quick change of fortune, as Tessier told local media earlier in the day that negotiations with the union had stalled, and employers were considering using replacement workers. The two sides did, however, agree to allow containers of personal protective equipment stuck at marine terminals to be moved prior to the truce.

As of Wednesday, the nearby Port of Halifax had handled eight vessels diverted from Montreal during the strikes and was expecting to handle seven more. Cargo diverted from Montreal has also put pressure on the Port of Saint John.

The BOC Blast 372 – Hong Kong Normalization – Transition Period Extended through November 9, 2020. Executive Order 13936

Hong Kong Normalization – Transition Period Extended through November 9, 2020. Executive Order 13936

This notice is to inform the trade that the 45-day transition period for compliance with the President’s Executive Order (EO) on Hong Kong Normalization has been extended for an additional 45 days through November 9, 2020.   Additionally, this notice updates the guidance provided in CSMS# 43633412, issued August 11, 2020.


On July 14, 2020, the President issued Executive Order 13936 dealing with Hong Kong Normalization, and suspended, among other things, the application of section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to certain statutes, including 19 U.S.C. 1304.  On August 11, 2020, CBP issued a notice in the Federal Register (85 FR 48551) notifying the public that, unless excepted from marking, goods produced in Hong Kong must be marked to indicate that their origin is “China” for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304.  The position set forth in the notice became applicable as of July 29, 2020; however, CBP granted a transition period until September 25, 2020 for importers to implement marking consistent with the notice.

Additional 45 days for informed compliance

In an effort to allow importers ample time to comply with EO requirements for goods produced in Hong Kong to be appropriately marked with the origin of “China”, CBP is extending the transition period for an additional 45 days, through November 9, 2020.  During this period, CBP personnel from the Ports of Entry and Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers) should not take any enforcement actions (i.e., marking notices, marking penalties, etc.) on goods produced in Hong Kong for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304.  Centers and Ports of Entry should take measures to inform accounts and importers of these new marking rules for Hong Kong set forth in the EO.

This change in marking requirements does not affect country of origin determinations for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under Chapters 1-97 of the HTSUS or temporary or additional duties under Chapter 99 of the HTSUS.  Entry summary procedures also have not changed.  Given that this new rule only applies to marking requirements under 19 U.S.C. 1304, filers should continue to file their entry summaries and submit payments for applicable duties, taxes and fees in accordance with current regulations and policies.

Should you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the Trade Agreement Branch at

Related documents:

  • GUIDANCE: New Marking Rules for Goods Made in Hong Kong – Executive Order 13936 (CSMS #43633412, August 11, 2020)
  • FAQ – Guidance of Marking of Goods of Hong Kong – EO 13936
  • Country of Origin Marking of Products of Hong Kong (85 FR 48551, August 11, 2020)
  • The President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization (85 FR 43413, July 14, 2020)
  • 1997 FR Hong Kong Customs 97-14662 (62 FR 30927, June 5, 1997)