Terminal, Rail, Trucking, Chassis Updates
1. Terminal Operations
- LAX/LGB Vessel/Terminal Delay Update:
There are currently 19 ships at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday Dec 18th.
All terminals continue to be congested due to the spike in import volumes and the same is expected to last until February 2021. Moreover, terminals are working with limited labor and split shifts (COVID-19 related). This labor shortages affect all terminals TAT for truckers, inter terminal transfers, the number of daily appointments available for gate transactions and generates delays in our vessels operations. Lack of terminal space due to congestion for operating the vessels, there is a constant switching of terminals that must be kept in mind when accepting OW bookings that are supposed to be going on dock but end up in the wrong terminal or the UP Off dock terminal (illegal moves). Hapag-Lloyd is currently shut out at some terminals limiting single empty returns and this situation will not change until we are able to work on the mty extra-loader vessel scheduled for late December. Dual transactions are encouraged and the Port Authority is pushing this process to keep freight moving in the complex.
An “unprecedented amount of import containers” has taken up all of the marine terminal space at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and forced employers to strictly ration longshore labor, with no immediate relief in sight, according to the largest terminal operator in Long Beach. “Because there is no room at the terminals, imports are just sitting on the docks, taking up space,” Ed DeNike, president of SSA Containers, told a virtual conference Tuesday sponsored by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.
DeNike said import distribution centers filled beyond capacity are a significant contributor to the congestion at the ports. Truckers are unable to dray import loads from the terminals to warehouses throughout Southern California. SSA’s operating model calls for draying import loads from its three terminals in Long Beach to nearby off-dock yards for temporary storage before the containers are moved to the distribution facilities, but the warehouses are full. “I have 3,000 containers sitting on off-dock terminals that can’t be delivered,” DeNike said.
While the shortage of railcars has improved, the terminals are still congested and the on-dock rail performance is still not optimal forcing many units to be trucked to/from the off dock rail ramp and the terminals. The off-dock ramp (ICTF for UP) is still congested and there are still containers stacked. We have units at ICTF that have been there for weeks and this has affected many key customers of Hapag-Lloyd. We are currently working with the UP & our house truckers to move these boxes to the terminals as soon as possible in order to load the cargo but the lack of chassis and limited appointment numbers hinder these efforts.
- Long Beach, CA – Average 7.4 at port – Rail units. At ramp: 2.3 days; total 9.7 days
- Los Angeles, CA – Average 8.1 days at terminal. At ramp: 2 days; total 10.1 days
High demand has affected overall trucker availability and better rates in other business segments have taken drivers away from the container transportation market & long haul routes. Industry facing overall trucker shortage (especially for DG & OW units). If still possible to move some OW units using triaxle chassis, the moves may take more than a week due to scarcity of triaxle chassis and truckers.
- New York Terminal Delay Update:
Terminals – USNYC:
Seeing steady increase of berth congestion / delays mainly at Maher Terminal and APM Terminal. These delays are effecting ERD’s and the number of days being given for export receiving for certain services as all terminals struggle with yard capacity issues. Expect short work weeks and upcoming holidays will impact yard productivity further. Increased dwell times for import volumes, and large inventories of empty containers continue to impact operations. Gate turn times for truckers have increased slightly, and terminals with trucker management systems (appointments) (GCT Bayonne, APM Term.) are continuing to report almost 100% utilization of available appointment slots. Terminals have been extending gate / terminal hours when necessary to accommodate import deliveries. Maher Terminals, APM, GCT New York, and PNCT are offering Saturday gates on 12/19 to help deliver backlog of import shipments. Terminals report these Saturday gates are not being utilized as much as needed / expected, so not having great impact on relieving import congestion.
More Saturday gates may be offered in next few weeks, but terminals are requesting help in making sure they are utilized by customers. ILA labor shortages are a possibility in near future as number of cases amongst ILA members continue to rise. No drastic impact noted as of yet.
NY – Average 5.3 days dwell from DIFU to transfer to MMR ramp (at MMR 4.6); total 9.9 days
- Canadian Terminal Delays Update:
All terminals continue to be congested due to the spike in import volumes and the same is expected to last until the end of Q1 2021.
Weekend labor shortages reported. Holiday labor shortages anticipated.
Berth delays at PRR are particularly long with vessels being held off berth for days.
Railcar supply stable, however, daily rail production under target which is contributing to yard and berth congestion.
Current average rail dwell times:
VAN: 3.6 days
PRR: 2.1 days
2. Trucking Availability:
- 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:
Market / Average 12-days+:
- Savannah, GA (21 days) – Memphis, TN – Baltimore, MD – Macon, GA – Atlanta, GA
Markets / Average 7-days+:
- Cincinnati, OH – Charleston, SC – Miami, FL – New York, NY – Charlotte, NC – Tacoma, WA – Seattle, WA – Dallas, TX – Miami/PT. Everglades, FL – Los Angeles, CA – Long Beach, CA – Philadelphia, PA – Norfolk, VA
Markets / Average 4-days +:
- Boston, MA – Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL – Cincinnati, OH – Cleveland, OH – Indianapolis, IN – Kansa City, MO – Council Bluffs, IA – Birmingham, AL – Greensboro, NC – Greer, SC – Jacksonville, FL – Santa Teresa, NM – Laredo, TX – Portland, OR – New Orleans, LA – Oakland, CA – Houston, TX
3. Chassis Pools:
- USOAK – Constrained on all size types chassis due high demands.
- UCHI – Deficit on 40’ chassis due to demands.
- USMES – Deficit on all chassis types, longer dwells on street.
- USCVG – Constrained on 40’ chassis, need to expedite repairs.
- USNYC – Constrained on 40’ chassis due to volumes.
- USLAX/USLGB – Pool of Pools seeing stressed chassis inventory in most terminal locations.
4. Railway Operations:
- Congestions at some terminals & rail ramps (imports):
- New York, NY – Average 5.3 days dwell from DIFU to transfer to MMR ramp (at MMR 4.6); total 9.9 days
- Long Beach, CA – Average 7.4 at port – Rail units, at ramp: 2.3 days; total 9.7 days
- Los Angeles, CA – Average 8.1 days at terminal, at ramp: 2 days; total 10.1 days
- Charleston, SC – Average 2.6 days at terminal, at ramp: 3.6 days; total 5.12 days
- Savannah, GA – Average 4.7 days at terminal, at ramp: 2 days; total 6.7 days
- Norfolk, VA – Average 3.8 days at terminal, at ramp: 2 days; total 5.8 days
5. Cross Border Traffic (US/CA):
- No impact at this time.
6. Volume / Bookings Development (US/LGB/CANADA):
- Bookings are beginning to exceed the daily average.
7. Equipment Release (in Boxes):
8. Equipment Inventory:
No Impact at this time.
9. Reinstated Sailings:
Transpacific – West Coast
All PSW (including India leg for PS3) and PNW loops will maintain their weekly sailings in December.
Transpacific – East Coast
All USEC loops will maintain their weekly sailings in December, except for in the following weeks:
- Week 50 – EC3 Void
- Week 52 – EC3 Void
Transpacific – West Coast
All PSW (including India leg for PS3) and PNW loops will maintain their weekly sailings in January, except for the following week:
- Week 1 – FP1 TP leg void
Transpacific – East Coast
All USEC loops will maintain their weekly sailings in January, except for in the following week:
- Week 1 – EC3 void
In the 27 years of BOC International’s existence managing logistics supply chains and transpacific transportation, we have never experienced such turmoil, disruption, delay, cargo congestion, lack of capacity, lack of equipment, as we see today. Unfortunately, we are forecasting that it will become worse each day in the next two months. We think it is our responsibility to be transparent and share all market conditions with our customers. We are partners and need to communicate openly and tackle challenges together. As 2020 comes to a close, we feel we are approaching the nearest we have ever come to a logistical Apocalypse.
BOC would like to advise you of some observations we see in the marketplace to help you manage your supply chain.
- Despite the entire global fleet of ocean capacity being launched in the Transpacific Market, the backlog of tens of thousands of containers continues to grow larger each day.
- Empty Container availability in Asia is approaching a new record low, and containers are scarcer every day in most Asia origin ports.
- Container volumes in October jumped 23.7 percent from a year ago. Container volumes in November jumped 28.2 percent from a year ago.
- Globally, carrier on-time performance in October reached a record low of 52.4 percent. November on-time performance is approaching a new record low of 45%, as we wait for the final numbers to be calculated. The average vessel delay globally in October was 4.86 days. The average vessel delay globally in November was approximately 6 days.
- Containers are rolling over 25%-50% of the time, depending on the carrier. Particularly at transshipment ports, we see a high percentage of rollovers with cargo sitting 7-21 days.
- Many USA ports are overwhelmed with container volume, and some setting record volume months in the history of their port operations (Savannah and Virginia) in November. The heavy volume has caused tremendous delays to pick up cargo and drop off empties. Up to 20 vessels have been seen at anchor waiting to be unloaded in the LA/LB harbor.
- Excess demurrage and detention are being accumulated due to a lack of chassis, inadequate trucker capacity, and terminal operation volume constraints. Cargo is difficult to pick up and drop off throughout the USA Ports and Container Yards.
- Multiple carriers have announced they will temporarily suspend the cargo’s acceptance from/to South China side ports via transit ports from 1/15/2021 to 2/23/2021. This policy of suspending feeder vessel service in South China will add to a further backlog.
- Carriers are reducing and in some cases eliminating the release of any new fixed-rate and spot rate bookings. We are also seeing some cargo that is already booked being canceled and encouraged to rebook at spot rate plus a premium surcharge.
- Transpacific container transportation costs have now achieved all-time highs. Costs are now 200%-500% higher than in May 2020. We see this trend continuing to at least March.
Please contact your BOC representative to guide you through these challenges. Together we will navigate the storm and find the best solutions to minimize the damage and satisfy your customers’ needs.