Global Logistics Crisis: Hot Spots

Posted 08/02/2021

South Africa: As reported earlier in the week, South Africa ports suffered a cyber-attack and the terminal IT systems are not back to normal. The terminals have implemented a manual process to release and receive containers. Our team in South Africa is managing the situation as best as possible, but they do expect delays on shipments until full functionality is restored. Please let us know if you have any specific questions or concerns.

New Zealand: New Zealand continued to experience schedule disruption, especially on the feeder vessels from the South Island and particularly Nelson port. The feeder vessels continue to omit the port call or roll containers due to weight restrictions or overbooking, thus further delaying connections to the mother vessels departing Auckland and Tauranga. We are working with the team in NZ to proactively move to alternative ports when possible, but the situation remains challenging and schedule integrity is extremely poor.

Europe: Truck power and equipment availability remain problematic in many regions. The rail and barge situation on the Continent has been affected due to both the flooding situation and congestion and repairs in some areas. We work with all of our carriers each week to evaluate the capacity and utilize all options to keep cargo moving as smoothly as possible.

Chile: Delays are significant due to vessels omitting port calls caused by bad weather and strike issues. We do expect the flow to normalize in a few weeks, but the backlog is significant at this time. Reefer containers are scarce so plan ahead should you need reefer equipment. 

USA: The USA situation for inland moves remains dire. Ocean carriers are refusing to handle inland moves either at time of booking or after arrival as capacity is at a critical stage. If they are handling deliveries, surcharges are being applied. The UP rail has resumed moving cargo from LA port after a week-long stoppage. Metering is continuing on most rail lines into highly congested areas. Truck power in many ports is stretched to the limit and even with forecasting and advance planning, it remains challenging to pull containers off terminals within the allowed free time. 

FMC Audit: The Federal Maritime Commission is conducting an audit on all major ocean carriers to review detention and demurrage practices. If any of you have specific issues that you would like to report via formal complaint, we would be happy to assist you with the process. We are in close touch with FMC commissioners discussing the current logistics challenges and are hoping to be part of a new shippers committee established by the FMC. 

Overall market situation: We still do not see an end in sight for the overall market congestion. Imports continue to surge on a global basis. Almost every region continues to suffer with some type of delay—whether it is due to lack of trucks, equipment, port congestion, schedule changes or vessel space.

We will continue to keep you updated on these developments. If you have any specific regions for which you need more detailed information, please contact us any time.