COVID-19 Latest Updates

Airfreight Backups, More Blanked Sailings, and the FMCSA Dials Back HOS Exemptions

By June 11, 2020 No Comments


A new list of exclusions for Section 301 List 4 tariffs has been granted, applied retroactively back to September 1, 2019 and in effect until the same date of this year. See if your imports are on the list.  


As tensions over air travel quiet down between the U.S. and China, Kallita and FedEx have been granted authorization to operate between Hong Kong and Singapore. As little airfreight moves out of China, most cargo owners must now rely on the two carriers.  

Currently, the only carriers servicing China-U.S. trade lanes are those based in China, which only use a small number of cargo handlers. As the majority of freight on trans-pacific lanes are now entering the U.S. through limited terminals, we’re seeing significant backlogs at major airfreight hubs. In some places, it’s even as long as two weeks before freight is checked in. 

If you’re suffering from these delays and need a little relief, reach out to a Navegate Airfreight expert to explore your options for gaining control. 


Container lines are continuing to blank sailings at some of the highest rates we’ve seen—last week, reaching nearly 4 million TEUsCarriers have used the cancellation of sailings to keep rates high throughout the pandemic, but it has cause major delays for cargo owners. The best thing to do? Give your forwarder as much notice as possible for shipments—some carriers are even requiring a three-week notice. The more your forwarder or carrier can plan in advance, the more likely you are to get your shipment on time. 

The Laura Maersk is out of commission after a turbocharger breakdown caused a small fire in the engine room of the ship. One crew member is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and no significant damage has been reported on board. The ship’s cargo, which was en route from Algeciras, Spain, will be carried onward by a sister ship. Maersk officials tell cargo owners to expect about a week’s delay. 


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has started to dial back its emergency rule exemptions as U.S. domestic markets begin to reawaken. Back in March, the FMCSA exempted drivers from Hours of Service (HOS) rules if they were carrying essential goods like medical supplies, personal protection equipment, food, or fuel. That exemption will expire on June 14th, and in its place, HOS rules will only be exempted for drivers carrying livestock and livestock feed; medical supplies and equipment related to COVID-19; and supplies and equipment necessary for safety, sanitization, and reducing the spread of COVID-19. By the look of the current freight market, these HOS changes aren’t likely to make noticeable impacts on most supply chains. 

Overall, the U.S. domestic trucking market appears to be on the rebound. Traffic is up, trucking unemployment is down, and while rates still fluctuate heavily, they appear to be moving in the right direction. As things pick back up, there are still plenty of backups in hotspots like Los Angeles and Houston.