COVID-19 Latest Updates

Pres. Biden Signs $1T Infrastructure Deal, Heavy Rainfall Disrupts Vancouver Rail Service, Beanie Babies Airlifted for Millions from China to O’Hare

By November 18, 2021 No Comments


Barge collides with Vancouver seawall. As high winds hit the Metro following an intense river downpour, a loose barge was swept into the seawall near Sunset Beach in Vancouver. Several witnesses captured video of the waves carrying the boat to shore.

Ever Given returns to service after repairs. The Ever Given, a ship that gained international fame after crashing in the Suez Canal in March 2021, quietly resumed operation over the weekend. The ship was in Qingdao Beihai shipyard for six weeks, which was twice as long as initially planned, and now has a new bulbous bow as it travels south through China, stopping in Malaysia before making it to Europe.


Container fees being delayed in the LA-LB ports. Los Angeles and Long Beach, the country’s two major ports, have decided to postpone the introduction of a fee on ocean carriers who fail to transfer containers from docks, which was slated to begin Nov. 15. The idea to tax carriers $100 per day for each container that has been sitting on the docks for more than three days has been postponed until Nov. 22. This is because, in recent weeks, the hubs have experienced a “substantial improvement in clearing import containers.” If you have questions about the emergency Container Excess Dwell Fee program, contact one of our experts.


Air freight shipments delayed by congestion. Air cargo volumes appear to be hindered by severe congestion at key airports. According to Clive Data Services’ newest analysis, dynamic week-on-week global load factors declined 1.5% in the week ending November 10. Global capacity declined 5% in the same week, which should signal greater load factors — yet demand fell. While forwarders indicate robust demand for air freight as the peak season has started, data suggests that congestion on the ground is restricting volumes.

Air cargo becoming less expensive than ocean freight. The cost of shipping goods around the world by air is around 2.5 times what it was before the pandemic. Rates are five to six times higher than average for the peak shipping season on significant trade channels where demand is very high, such as China and Southeast Asia to the United States.

Boeing seeks partners to transform passenger planes for cargo use. To keep up with the rising demand for passenger planes, Boeing Co. may partner with firms such as Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and Mammoth Freighters to convert its passenger airplanes to cargo planes.


California raises truck weight limits to 88,000 pounds to alleviate port congestion. To relieve supply chain bottlenecks and get containers off of the docks of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California will boost the weight limitations for trucks transporting products in and out of its ports. Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters at the Port of Long Beach that starting Nov. 17, the state would issue temporary licenses that will increase truck weight limitations to 88,000 pounds, up from 80,000 pounds. The extension will be in effect until June 30.

Trucking fleets projected to have a robust market “far beyond 2022.” According to the supply chain analysis firm FTR, business conditions for trucking fleets are anticipated to remain strong beyond 2022 after an economic index of freight markets rose slightly in September. FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) increased marginally to 11.79 in September from 11.63 in August, as freight rates continued to rise, even though freight volume and capacity utilization were not as favorable to carriers as they were in July and August.

​​Fleets turn to eBay and Craiglist in a scramble to find parts. A scarcity in supplies has wreaked havoc on fleets, to the point where fleet managers are resorting to unusual means to locate parts. It’s been stated that certain fleets with bigger budgets are snatching up what they can as soon as they can, if and when parts become available. Some are resorting to their own trucks for materials. Others are looking for new or used parts on eBay or Craig’s List that they can’t get from their normal vendors. Others are traveling to the outskirts of town to remote supply stores.

Diesel continues to increase, rising 0.4¢. According to Energy Information Administration statistics posted on Nov. 15, the national average price for diesel continues to rise at a slower pace, increasing by 0.4¢ to $3.734 per gallon. The major gasoline for trucks currently costs $1.293 more than it did in 2020.


Heavy rainfall disrupts rail service at Port of Vancouver. Due to floods and landslides in British Columbia, the Port of Vancouver has been closed off from all train services. Major stretches of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railway lines feeding Canada’s largest port were shut down after heavy rain poured in the province and the Pacific Northwest. The impact will undoubtedly be felt across the Canadian supply chain, with authorities warning of impending vessel delays and terminal operations disruptions.


Ty Inc. uses air freight to alleviate supply chain stress for Beanie Babies and Beanie Boos. Ty Inc., located in Illinois, is using air freight to transport its stuffed toys from overseas for the holidays, bypassing the bottlenecks at U.S. ports. Ty Warner, the company’s founder and CEO, claims that he has personally funded more than 150 freight trips at $1.5-2 million each since last month. The flights depart from several locations in China and land at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where the Beanie Babies and Beanie Boos are unloaded and transported to Ty’s corporate headquarters for distribution.

Georgia targeted by USDOT for supply chain assistance. The Biden administration’s supply chain task force recently made it possible for the Georgia Ports Authority to reallocate more than $8 million for inland operations in Georgia and North Carolina. The funds would be used to convert existing facilities into five pop-up container yards to help reduce congestion at the Port of Savannah.

Despite inflation, retail sales increase by 1.7% in October. The Commerce Department revealed that American consumers increased their spending in October, even though consumer prices rose at their quickest rate since the 1990s. Retail sales grew 1.7%, compared to 0.8 percent the previous month, as customers spent more on commodities ranging from automobiles to recreational equipment, as well as food and petrol.

Biden signs $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure package into law on Monday, completing a crucial component of his domestic spending program by allocating billions to states and local governments to upgrade aging roads, bridges, transit systems, and other infrastructure.

Weekly Supply Chain Disruption Summary from NCBFAA. The Logistics Subcommittee of the NCBFAA Transportation Committee collects data on rail delays and port bottlenecks that affect the supply chain and your company operations regularly. For your convenience, the Logistics Subcommittee has compiled the most recent attached data in the form of an Excel file.