COVID-19 Latest Updates

Ocean Capacity Decreases Again, Aluminum Import License Deadline is Extended, and a Railcar Shortage Causes Delays at LA-LB

By April 1, 2021 No Comments


The Ever Given ship stuck at the Suez Canal has been refloated. After nearly a week of blocking the canal, canal authorities and a salvage firm were able to successfully refloat the ship. It is currently anchored at the Great Bitter Lake for damage inspection. The Suez Canal has now reopened for passage, however, there is a backlog of vessels that is expected to take approximately 10 days to clear and schedule reliability is expected to be disorganized for the next coming weeks. 

After temporary relief, congestion and container availability in China has worsened again.  Due to this increase in congestion and shortage of containers, ocean carriers are canceling services and increasing blank sailings. This congestion will decrease capacity in the U.S. West Coast, East Coast and the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, prices are increasing with the need to pay for a premium service for shipments. It seems to be a challenging year thus far, so this tough environment may continue until Chinese New Year of 2022. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts


The aluminum import license deadline has been updated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The licenses will be required for covered aluminum import products starting June 28, 2021, instead of March 29, 2021. This date change comes as the U.S. Department of Commerce has submitted a notice to the Federal Register announcing the delay. 


International Cargo Terminal aims to help ease congestion at Ports of NY-NJ. The International Cargo Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey has extended its warehouse hours for pickup of import containers on Saturday, April 3 to mitigate the congestion at the ports. 

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) will increase capacity at Savannah Port. In an effort to handle volume surges with fewer slowdowns, the GPA will increase capacity at the Port of Savannah by 650,000 TEU, a 20% increase, before the end of 2021. 

A railcar shortage at the Ports of LA-LB causes delays. Terminal authorities at the Port of LA-LB have said that the shortage of railcars has become the “top driver of congestion” for the ports. This railcar shortage began last month due to severe winter weather that disrupted rail operations in the middle of the country. Railcar dwell times have doubled to about 10 days. Western railroads are working on pushing more railcars to Southern California to address the ongoing problem. 


CMA CGM’s new air cargo service adds U.S. cargo destinations. Ocean line CMA CGM’s new air cargo service will begin operating two new routes — New York’s JFK Airport and Atlanta — from its base in Liege, Belgium. The airfreight division will operate with five flights a week between Liege and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, once per week between Liege and JFK, and four times per week between Liege to Atlanta via JFK.


Trucking companies are taking steps to vaccinate truckers. In a bid to minimize workplace disruptions, trucking companies are ensuring their drivers and support staff can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Paid time off, on-site clinics, special websites, and other media platforms have helped with the effort.


ICYMI: Last month was Women’s History Month. Our Women’s History Month blog highlights women supply chain leaders who made the industry move forward, faster.