COVID-19 Latest Updates

Another Chance to Defer Duty, a Last Hurrah for Container Imports, and Shippers Turning to Tech

By April 23, 2020 No Comments


The White House issued an executive order on Sunday evening allowing qualifying importers to defer April duty payments for up to 90 days. Although monthly statements were due at midnight on Monday, eligible importers can still defer duties for the remainder of April. If you believe you qualify for a deferral, contact your customs broker as soon as possible. 



The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a safety statement providing airlines attempting to convert passenger planes into cargo-carrying flights guidelines to minimize hazards. Since passenger plane cabins are not designed to carry cargo, the FAA issued tips so carriers avoid running into issues like uneven weight distribution, fires, and unsafe transportation of hazardous materials. The number of cargo-carrying flights offered by passenger airlines has continued to increase—just this week, United announced its expansion of its all-cargo network to more than 150 flights per week.



recent spike in container imports being unloaded in California ports is likely the “last hurrah” before volumes drop off significantly. Since it typically takes 2-3 weeks for a container to ship from China to the west coast, the spike seen at the end of March and early April is likely due to a rush of imports after factories re-opened from Chinese New Year closures. Industry leaders expect May import levels to be 15%-20% lower than last year.



The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a notice that it will not penalize state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) if they are unable to notify the federal government of driver violations, disqualifications, and convictions within the normal 10-day window. This grace period, designed to provide relief to SDLAs that are either partially operational or fully shut down due to COVID-19, will last until June 30. 


Managing Supply Chains

In addition to the ongoing pandemic, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected to hit southern states over the remainder of the week. Major transportation hubs likely to be impacted include Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston. If you’re worried about cargo you may have inbound or at one of these ports, or you’re looking for more control over your supply chain in the chaos, reach out to a logistics expert at Navegate

A survey from JOC found that many businesses plan to make major changes to their supply chains in response to COVID-19. Many shippers are struggling to react to disruptions in their supplier networks, volatile rates and transit options, and a constant fight to balance inventory against changing demand. Most of these shippers reported that they’re turning to supply chain technology to give them control and visibility, as the impacts of the pandemic exacerbate supply chain inefficiencies that may have seemed minor before. If you find yourself exploring the ways technology may be able to help your supply chain, reach out to a Navegate platform expert, and we’ll help you determine what tools to prioritize for your business.