COVID-19 Latest Updates

Ocean Carriers Suspend Services to Inland Ramps, Customs Asks Importers to Review Entries, and the Port of Los Angeles Launches a Vaccination Site

By March 4, 2021 No Comments


More ocean carriers are suspending services to certain inland ramps via Los Angeles/Long Beach. The ramps include Cincinnati/Cleveland/Columbus, Detroit, Louisville, Houston/San Antonio, Atlanta, Nashville, and New Orleans. The suspension comes as carriers prefer to accept more base port cargo to speed up the equipment utilization as there’s no rail network that connects from the West Coast to the East Coast. 

Container shortage from India poses challenges to outbound shipments. The Federation of India Export Organization (FIEO) has stated that an increase of up to 40% in ocean freight since November of 2020 and lack of containers are making deliveries difficult. The FIEO attributes this shortage to low import volumes from China, with a decrease of 19.6% last year. Additionally, poor global container circulation further fuels this problem, while shipping lines prioritize the containers they have to ship on the U.S. trade line due to record high U.S.-China market trade rates. 

General rate increases (GRIs) from ocean carriers Maersk, CMA CGM, and MSC have been repealed. As anticipated, these GRIs only stuck around for a few days after its implementation on March 1st.  


Customs is asking importers to review entries that may be subject to third country antidumping and countervailing duty cases. Therefore, importers must file corrections within 60 days of the notice for entries made between October 5th, 2019 and October 28th, 2020 to prevent further actions by Customs. 

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Core electronic messaging is mandatory starting March 15th. Commodities subject to USDA reporting will require electronic submission of permit and/or license details electronically as part of the Customs entry. The programs included in this message set are as follows: Veterinary Services (AVS) for animal products, Plant Protection & Quarantine (APQ) for plants, seeds, fruits & vegetables, Biotechnology Regulatory Services (ABS) for genetically engineered organisms, and Animal Care (AAC) for live animals. Therefore, it’s advised that importers should research the requirements for the commodities they import and ensure their broker has all of the required documentation to proceed with entry. More information can be found in the APHIS’s section of the USDA’s website. If you have any questions regarding these updates, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts


The Port of Los Angeles launches a vaccination site. Waterfront employers and the International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) have set up a vaccination site at the Port of Los Angeles to hopefully double the number of dockworkers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As the number of vaccinations increases, stakeholders hope that the labor pool will increase, thus, easing the unprecedented congestion at the port. 


Air freight rates stabilize after a decline as the Chinese New Year came to an end. Air cargo rates have declined to levels not seen in months on trans-Pacific and Europe trade lines. However, it’s not clear if this decline will continue for much longer, so it’s recommended to check regularly on these rates.


Heavy rain may cause delays in trucking this week. Parts of Tennessee and Ohio were hit with up to five inches of rain over the weekend, causing trucking delays, while heavy rainfall is expected in the deep South from eastern Texas to Florida. Any flooding should be localized, but make sure you have insurance on your shipments as we enter the spring season where more rainfall will be more common.