Severe Limitations on Intermodal Freight moving to Inland USA Points

Most steamship lines have severely limited the intermodal freight they will accept, to move from the US Coasts to Inland Interior US points.

•        ONE is now nearly completely stopping IPI bookings.

•        OOCL/CMA-CGM stopped accepting most IPI bookings.

•        HMM/Yang Ming/Cosco, and Evergreen, have stopped taking almost all IPI bookings.

•        MSC is still accepting some bookings, but has increased the inland fee significantly, when they

do accept a booking.

Most steamship lines have not issued formal letters like ONE has; they simply are refusing to take these bookings.

BOC Customer Advisory

Transpacific faces challenges impacting all of supply chain

Dear Valued Customers,

With this advisory, BOC aims to provide you as our valued customer with the most relevant and up-to-date information to help you navigate this period of heightened volatility.

Key Notes:

  • Shanghai and Yantian port operations are starting to experience increased congestion challenges as peak season volume pressure ramps up. Both ports are now experiencing 5-6-day delays on average.
  • Equipment Availability in Asia is now at critical levels in several locations with the situation being most dire in both Vietnam and Indonesia, while South China also remains stressed. In Vietnam, the ongoing congestion challenges in Vung Tau it set to deteriorate even further as the region sees a spike in COVID-19 cases. With further lockdowns now introduced, this could very well be the source of the next major supply chain disruption headline in the coming days.
  • Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach improving but still heavily congested. We have 10-15 vessels at anchorage awaiting a berth. All large vessels are limited to 4 gangs and are experiencing extended port stays by on average 3-4 days.
  • Port of Oakland vessel wait times have improved to an average of 7-10 days. The heavy congestion, however, has forced shipping lines to limit or omit their scheduled calls. All vessels have been limited to 2 gangs per shift due to continued labor constraints in meeting the high-volume demand.
  • Port Yard Utilization at Seattle remains at capacity (120%), with labor restrictions also kept in place pending yard availability improvements. In Prince Rupert, the situation remains pressed with yard operations at 106% to capacity while in Vancouver, the situation is expected to deteriorate over the coming days due to the rail service disruptions brought on by the Lytton wildfires in Canada.
  • Truck Capacity and Chassis Availability are in short supply across select locations. The situation is most critical across the Mid-West, Southeast, and Newark. 

Trending Themes:

Yantian Terminal Operations Recovery at a Tipping Point

The situation in Yantian continues to improve with terminal operations slowly returning to normal levels, but as peak volume flows begin to ramp up, the recovery may well be put to test. Vessel wait times that had recovered to within a day have now crept back up to the 5-6-day range. While yard density remains at manageable levels, the challenge from here is largely centered around the clearance of what can only be described as a significant backlog of cargo sitting at customer’s facilities or on factory floors.

There are three factors at play that need to come together in order to resolve the issue. The first and likely most pressing is in the availability of equipment. As many vessels were forced to omit the port during the peak of the COVID outbreak, opportunities to reposition empties into the area were as a result limited. Today we are seeing a shortage of 40’/40HC/45’ in South China. While we are actively working on repositioning containers into the area, customers are asked to where possible substitute their equipment with 20’ containers to alleviate the pressure. The second factor is in the available carrier capacity. While the possibility of introducing additional vessels into the network remains limited, as an alternative we are instead over-allocating space to Yantian cargo on existing vessel calls to help clear the backlog. The final piece to the puzzle is dependent on the continued normalization of operations at the South China ports. Daily truck quotas for laden container return continue to increase but with vessel wait times once again creeping up, this poses a serious risk to the overall recovery.

Empty Equipment Stock in North America is Rising Once Again

The container equipment stock status across North America continues to ebb and flow as supply chain disruptions make repositioning efforts incredibly complex and challenging. While the initial drop in volume brought on by the Yantian disruption had allowed the teams the opportunity to clear out some of the excess stock, the slide sailings that followed had the opposite effect as empties sat awaiting vessel arrivals for repositioning back to Asia. Now with the peak surge, severe congestion in select areas are contributing to slower empty returns. This is not only hurting exporters as chassis availability becomes limited but it’s also causing vessels to return to light or underutilized thus exacerbating the equipment shortage in Asia.

To help combat this shortage we have introduced both Extra Loaders and Gap Loaders to help normalize the network and to move surplus empties back to Asia. Our success is still heavily dependent on customer’s support in turning empty containers back as quickly as possible, particularly in the Pacific Southwest where the situation is most pressed. Also, worth noting as the Wildfires in British Columbia persists, given the dangers, rail providers are prioritizing containment operations rather than container movement. As a result, we expect to see equipment shortages across the West Coast with inland stocks set to rise in the coming weeks.

Trucking Capacity Continues to Tighten in Select Locations

Click above picture to view larger image

Truck capacity and chassis availability remain a major concern in several locations across North America. The primary challenge in the Northeast is in the limited availability of chassis in the Newark area due to an increase in cargo dwell time. In the Gulf area, Dallas is experiencing reduced truck capacity for long-haul moves while Houston is struggling with both truck and chassis availability. This continues to impact imports departing from Bayport, Barbours CT, and BNSF Pearland as well as exports originating in Houston and West Texas. Mobile and New Orleans are also experiencing reduced truck capacity, with some providers now fully booked through to the end of July.

In the South Atlantic, volumes in Memphis is once again surging, the I-40 bridge closure is still causing capacity issues into west Memphis as drivers are either declining the load or charging a premium for doing so. The bridge is still on schedule to be opened by end of July. In Atlanta, the chassis shortage continues to cause major delays for import rail cargo out of Fairburn. While in the Midwest area we are seeing chassis shortages across the region. As cargo dwell time continues to rise, it is proving to be extremely difficult to source truck or chassis capacity for exports out of Chicago.  

Union Pacific suspends inbound international container shipments to Chicago for a week

By Bill Stephens | July 14, 2021,

Embargo will allow railroad to address backlog at Global IV facility

OMAHA, Neb. – In the latest pandemic-related disruption, Union Pacific has told customers it will halt all shipments of international containers from West Coast ports to its Global IV terminal in Chicago for up to a week.

The embargo, scheduled to begin on Sunday night, will help the railroad clear a container backlog at Global IV. The terminal is clogged largely due to reasons beyond the railroad’s control. Labor shortages and pandemic-related restrictions have slowed unloading and loading of containers at customer facilities. That has led to a shortage of chassis and drayage capacity during a period of high demand.

Other railroads, including BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern, also have taken steps at various times this year to limit inbound volume at congested terminals in Memphis, Chicago, and elsewhere on their systems.

Intermodal analyst Larry Gross says UP’s move will create massive backups at West Coast ports, which are already busy as retailers are looking to keep up with consumer demand and aim to restock depleted inventories at their warehouses and store shelves.

As many as 40,000 twenty-foot equivalent units — or TEUs, the standard measure of international containers — will be stuck at West Coast ports over the next week due to the UP embargo, Gross says. That’s equivalent to 50 double-stack trains, each with 200 wells and a capacity for 800 TEU.

“The biggest issue seems to be a shortage of pool chassis to support normal operations at this wheeled terminal,” Gross says of the congestion at Global IV. “But I’m told that if a drayman shows up at Global IV with their own chassis to pick up a grounded box, they can’t get the box loaded.”

In a service advisory issued today, steamship line HMM told customers to expect delays to containers that are on ships or already on docks at West Coast ports. “There will be some restrictions on new bookings from Asia to Chicago destinations in order to clean up any already in-transit cargoes,” the HMM advisory says.

“As the U.S. intermodal supply chain continues to be stressed with U.S. West Coast terminal congestion, we will continue to closely monitor the circumstances of other inland rail ramps, as well,” HMM says.

UP, in a service advisory two weeks ago, adjusted its container storage charges amid parking congestion at the terminal.

“The international intermodal supply chain continues to experience congestion related to high demand and constrained capacity, particularly drayage and warehouse operations in major markets,” UP said in a July 1 advisory. “Union Pacific has strived to maximize container shipments between ports and inland ramps, but available parking space at Chicago’s Global 4 ramp has been consumed due to slow outbound drayage processing.”

Wildfires Affect Western Canada and Rail Operations

Customer Advisory

British Columbia Wildfire impact on service

Dear Valued Customer,

We would like to update you on the situation in Western Canada in relation to the wildfires in the Lytton, BC area which has impacted the key access route towards the ports in Vancouver.

Transportation modes impacted: Both CN and CP Rail were granted access to the rail tracks to determine the necessary steps to resume safe rail operations. They are currently assessing the damage and estimating the time needed for repair.

CP Railways update:

  • One line belonging to CP has been opened and CP is restarting the operations and trains following through the area at reduced speed.
  • Westbound export in-gate embargo is in place requiring truckers to report to problem area to clear through Remote Operations Center (ROC). Embargo holds are being actively worked out by CP to ensure terminals accept containers in line with trains ramp-up.

CN railway update:

CN is currently working on directing traffic via alternative routes either by using the CP line on a co-production agreement or by collaboration with BNSF via different gateway. At this time an embargo has been issued on traffic going Westbound and Eastbound.

As mentioned on yesterday’s update, it is anticipated that regular flow in and out of port of Vancouver will be impacted for at least one week. We will see increased congestion at terminals and expect vessel delays.

We are working closely with different stakeholders to understand the impacts of the delays on terminal operations and to develop a contingency plan.

Impact to Maersk operations: Our offices are open and working – and not impacted since most of our staff are working from home. Our warehouses are open and working.

Your business is important to us and we pledge to keep you fully informed as more details become available.

Should you have any questions on the situation, please feel free to contact your local Maersk professional.


Your Maersk Team

Notice to Customers

Pacific North West (PNW) Services Update

Dear Valued Customers,

Further to previous advisory, we would like to update you on the operational situation related to the wild fires in Lytton, BC area. CN Rail is working with local authorities to inspect the area, assess the damages and time needed for repairs and resuming operations. In the meantime, CN has moved some traffic by utilizing CP lines’ networks with limited capacity and will continue to plan rail movements whenever possible.

In terms of terminal operations, currently there are two ZP8/ZP9 vessels in Vancouver and pending operations.

  • ZP8: Santa Ines (JK6 V.8N) is tentatively scheduled to start operations in Centerm terminal on July 9 local time.
  • ZP9: Maersk Lins (YE4 V.10N) at Deltaport terminal is pending operations as she is not only affected by the wild fires but also a Covid case. Her operations start time is to be updated.

Thank you for your attention and understanding on this matter. We will continue to keep you posted of any further developments.

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

Aluminum License Requirements, Updated

A Rule by the International Trade Administration on 05/21/2021

Please note the CBP Cargo System Messaging Service (CSMS) concerning the June 28, 2021 Aluminum License requirement.

Key requirements that the IOR is required to report include:

•        Country of Largest Smelt

•        Country of Second Largest Smelt

•        Country of Most Recent Cast

The CSMS provides the websites that have all the requirements and offer virtual demonstrations: Look for Registering for a Virtual Demo under Calendar of Updates. 

AIM prepared a schedule of upcoming  virtual demos. New demos may be announced here as they become available. Please be advised that registration for these demos will close 30 minutes before the demo start time. Here are the types of virtual demos planned, and the dates on which you can attend them:

Getting Started with the AIM License System

1.         Thursday, January 7th, 2021 @ 1:00 PM EST – Completed

2.         Thursday, January 14th, 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST – Completed

3.         Thursday, January 21st, 2021 @ 3:00 PM EST– Completed

4.         Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 @ 2:00 PM EST

5.         Monday, June 28th, 2021 @ 2:00 PM EST

E-mail to register for an AIM License System demo and specify the number for the virtual demo you would like to attend (e.g. 3,4, and 5). Each demo will cover the same material.

Cargo Systems Messaging Service


This message contains important information regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s new Aluminum Import License program. 

Commerce has published a notice in the Federal Register responding to public comments about the AIM system and confirming that compliance with the rule “Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis System” will be required on June 28, 2021.  See Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis System: Effective Date and Response to Comments, 86 FR 27513 (May 21, 2021) available at

Consequently, brokers and importers are notified that imports of most aluminum products will require an aluminum import license for each entry beginning on Monday, June 28, 2021.  Please see the list of aluminum products subject to the new licensing requirement at:   The aluminum import license number obtained from Commerce for each shipment, as well as the License Type Code (28), must be reported on the corresponding entry summary or electronic equivalent in ACE.  

The new licensing system is available at and is currently open for account registration and license applications.  Importers, brokers, and other license applicants will need to register for an account in order to apply for a license. The Trade is advised to plan accordingly and obtain any licenses needed for entry in advance of June 28, 2021, from the Commerce website.  The new aluminum license system will use the same platform as the licensing system for the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) System, therefore users with an existing steel license account do not need to create new accounts.  

Commerce previously published a final rule concerning the aluminum license.  See Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis System, 85 FR 83804 (December 23, 2020) available at  This final rule details the new system, including license requirements and the platform for the license application. 

To assist the Trade with using the Commerce portal to register new accounts and complete license applications, Commerce has developed a series of instructional videos, users guides, FAQs, and virtual demonstrations.  For more information and to sign up for a virtual demonstration, please visit:  Should you have questions, please contact the Commerce aluminum licensing team at:


Port of Yantian Closure

26 May 2021

Dear Valued Customer,

The Port of Yantian stopped taking in loaded containers as berth congestion deteriorates and as local health authorities tighten their anti- virus measures within the port facilities.

The restriction will be implemented from 2200 hrs local time on May 25 to 2359 hrs on May 27. The restriction will only be partly lifted for export boxes with expected vessel arrival at the port within the next four days.

Pickups of import or empty containers is allowed during this period.

We expect the Yantian port congestion to persist for some time and are working on contingency plans and service recovery.

ZIM Transpacific Business Unit

Re: YICT (Yantian International Container Terminal) – Outbound Cargo Receiving Arrangement


Dear Valued customers,


This is to share that upon YICT terminal’s information: Due to increasingly serious update in shipping schedules, the storage yard in Yantian Port has a very high density, which seriously affects the efficiency of terminal operations and also causes traffic congestion around the port area. In order to improve the above problems, Yantian International decided to:

  1. During the period from 22:00 on 25th May to 23:59 on 27th May, export heavy containers will not be accepted into the gate; during this period, import heavy containers and empty containers will maintain normal operation. 5 月 25 日 22:00 至 5 月 27 日 23:59 期间,不接收出口重柜入闸;在此期间,提进口重柜及空柜维持正常操作。
  2. From 00:00 on 28th May, the acceptance of heavy containers will resume, and only ETA-4 (that is, the export heavy containers within four days before the expected arrival date of the ship) will be accepted. This measure will be implemented from 28th May to 3rd June. 5 月 28 日 00:00 时起, 恢复接收重柜,只接收 ETA-4(即船舶预计到港日期前四天内)的出口重柜,此措 施实施时间为 5 月 28 日至 6 月 3 日。

Please well check the latest arrival date via below link before gate in, or you could check with terminal on the acceptance date upon the necessity.

关于船舶最新到达盐田国际码头日期,请通过以下   “易物流盐田”    网站做查询参考,或可联系盐田国际码头核查可接收重柜的日期。

易物流盐: W%20YORK&voyage_code=

Using this opportunity, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your continual support. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we could be of any assistance.


Yours faithfully,

MSC (HK) Ltd.

As Agent for Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.


82 Trans-Pacific Blank Sailings for May & June 2021 & Cyclone Tautkee effecting Indian Ports

Loading BranchUpdated (Date)CarrierAllianceDestination RegionService StringGatewaySlip Vessel ETDETD Week
Hong Kong12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasDASPSW05/May/212021_18
Shenzhen12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasDASPSW05/May/212021_18
Qingdao12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasEX1PSW13/May/212021_19
Qingdao12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasBOHAIPSW21/May/212021_20
Qingdao12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasEX1PSW20/May/212021_20
Qingdao12/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasCENPSW21/May/212021_20
Shanghai12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasEX1PSW22/May/212021_20
Shanghai12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasEX1PSW29/May/212021_21
Shenzhen12/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasGGBPSW05/Jun/212021_22
Tianjin12/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasCENPSW22/Jun/212021_25
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC1EC07/May/212021_18
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC4EC11/May/212021_19
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC6EC19/May/212021_20
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasFP2PSW22/May/212021_20
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN3PSW17/May/212021_20
Shenzhen12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN3PSW31/May/212021_22
Taiwan12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN1PNW04/Jun/212021_22
Taiwan12/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS4PSW04/Jun/212021_22
Ningbo13/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasHANGZHOU BAY BRIDGEPNW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo13/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN4PNW12/May/212021_19
Ningbo13/May/21YMLThe AllianceAmericasPN4PNW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo13/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasNEW EC6PNW23/May/212021_20
Ningbo13/May/21YMLThe AllianceAmericasEC6EC23/May/212021_20
Xiamen18/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasMPNWPNW28/May/212021_21
Xiamen18/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS4PSW14/Jun/212021_24
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasAACPSW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasAAC2PSW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasEPNWPNW16/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasMPNWPNW15/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasAACPSW18/May/212021_20
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasCPNWPNW17/May/212021_20
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasCPNWPNW24/May/212021_21
Ningbo19/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasMPNWPNW02/Jun/212021_22
Shenzhen19/May/21OOCLOcean AllianceAmericasVCEEC31/May/212021_22
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC3EC15/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN1PNW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS5PSW11/May/212021_19
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS6PSW26/May/212021_21
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN1PNW05/Jun/212021_22
Ningbo19/May/21YMLThe AllianceAmericasPS6EC02/Jun/212021_22
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN4PNW15/Jun/212021_24
Ningbo19/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPN1PNW26/Jun/212021_25
Shanghai20/May/21WANHAINon – AllianceAmericasAA5PSW27/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasPNWPNW29/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasTPXPNW28/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21COSCOOcean AllianceAmericasAWE6EC27/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21OOCLOcean AllianceAmericasPNW4PNW26/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21OOCLOcean AllianceAmericasVCEEC27/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21OOCLOcean AllianceAmericasVCSPSW27/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasPNWPNW02/Jun/212021_22
Shanghai20/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasPNWPNW05/Jun/212021_22
Shanghai20/May/21OOCLOcean AllianceAmericasPNW2PNW31/May/212021_22
Shanghai20/May/21CMAOcean AllianceAmericasSAXEC10/Jun/212021_23
Shanghai20/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC3EC24/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC6EC24/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS8PSW27/May/212021_21
Shanghai20/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasEC3EC31/May/212021_22
Taiwan20/May/21ONEThe AllianceAmericasPS4PSW18/Jun/212021_24

Cyclone Tautkae effect on Indian Ports

  • The port was nonfunctional for 72 hours all Import vessel operation was suspended.
  • The Ports (JNPT/Mundra/Hazira) has suspended vessel berthing at Nhava Sheva port waiting for landfall of cyclone Tauktae by Saturday evening, and suggested ships at berth to cruise out.
  • Pipavav Terminal has severely affected due to Cyclone Tauktae.
  • Currently there is no electricity in the terminal and the rail connectivity has been totally stopped.


Port of Montreal – TO be Shut Down by Longshoremen’s

Dear Valued Customers,

This morning at 7:00 am the Union representing the Port of Montreal Longshoremen (CUPE Local 375) gave a 72 hour strike notice to the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), which will result in all container and general cargo movements ceasing as of Monday April 26 at 7:00 am, for an indefinite period of time.

In practical terms, this is only a 6-8 hour notice, as the union members have refused to work overtime and weekends for the past 10 days, therefore the port’s operations will effectively shut down as of Friday night.

Of serious concern is the cargo remaining within the port facilities, and which may become unavailable for the duration of the shutdown, and the both truckers and the rail carriers have been using their best efforts over the course of today, as well as the last few weeks to move import containers out of the port as soon as they become available.

The only exception to this strike notice and port shut down, is services to/from Newfoundland via the Oceanex terminal, which is deemed an essential service.

ITN has joined with the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) and over thirty other trade associations and hundreds of ITN clients and other affected companies, to urge our federal government officials to take direct and immediate action to avert this labour dispute from impending the flow of cargos, which will have a disastrous impact on our already fragile Canadian economy.

Please join us in keeping the pressure on our elected officials to seek a negotiated solution to this labour problem, which will not hurt the Canadian business at this most critical time.

ITN will continue to keep you updated as further information becomes available. 

Sources for this Blast come from ITN Logistics.

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