COVID-19 Latest Updates

Daily Messaging Issues Between U.S. Customs and Carriers, Congestion Increasing at U.S. West Coast Ports, Trucking Capacity Remains Tight

By October 29, 2020 No Comments


Ocean freight space is getting worse across the board. In many parts of Asia, ocean freight space is hard to come by. In China, there’s no space on vessels except for the southern region where space still remains completely tight. Areas in Southeast Asia are full for the next three weeks and may continue to be tight for the next five. In Thailand, it is likely that space will be tight for the next six weeks. With this increasing shortage of space, it’s highly likely that there will be delays in shipments.  


The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has granted temporary tariff publication relief to CMA CGM after the carrier experienced a cyber-attack in September. The FMC has given the carrier a reprieve from their legal requirements to file profitability rates due to this cyber-attack. While the carrier hasn’t fully recovered from the attack, all communications to and from CMA CGM are secure, and its ports and maritime activities are fully operational.  

The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has issued a temporary restraining order against a recent Presidential Proclamation. This temporary restraining order prohibits U.S. Customs from enforcing the proclamation, which revokes the exclusion of bifacial solar panels from the Section 201 tariffs.  

There have been messaging issues between U.S. Customs and terminals/carriers almost daily, causing storage issues. Terminals and carriers are not receiving release statuses from Customs, which could potentially increase storage charges and cause other unexpected costs for businesses. If you’re having trouble navigating these costs or are confused why these issues are happening, contact one of our Customs Experts.   


The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California continue to handle record import volumes from Asia, causing chassis shortages and more congestion. These shortages are likely to persist into 2021, perhaps through the middle of February. It’s possible that these chassis shortages are due to inefficiencies at the marine terminals, according to intermodal equipment providers and truckers. The ports are taking steps to remedy these shortages and the increasing congestion, including opening a near dock site for dray-offs in Long Beach and offering financial incentives to promote more efficiency in Los Angeles. 

Marine terminals on the U.S. West Coast have been stressed lately, mainly due to COVID-19 measures and parameters, which may cause unexpected storage costs for businesses. In the port of Tacoma, for example, it’s extremely difficult to secure an appointment out of the port, with nothing available for almost up to a week. Marine terminals aren’t waiving storage fees either, so there may be extra storage charges as a result of these delays. The U.S. East Coast is also experiencing delays, and technical issues with the CP Rail have also been reported which are affecting tracking and availability.   

Hurricane Zeta has made landfall at the ports of New Orleans and Mobile. The main impacts of the storm were mainly felt Wednesday afternoon, affecting local service and interchange traffic traveling near the areas. Customers with shipments destined to these areas can expect slight delays, but nothing major as the storm quickly passed through the areas. 


Air freight rates continue to increase as ocean capacity remains tight. These rates are increasing, particularly in the Midwest. Because more ocean freights are turning to air freights, air carriers are filling up quicker, thus causing delays.  


Trucking capacity remains tight, causing difficulty with securing bookings. In some cases, it’s taken nearly 48 hours to book space on a truck. In particular, Seattle has struggled to secure available truckloads due to peak season and COVID measures, so it’s likely that shipments may be delayed.