Weekly Logistics Hot Spot Update

Posted 10/18/2021

The global supply chain meltdown continues, and it seems that problems will get worse before they get better.  However, we had some good news this week in the USA, with a spotlight on USA port operating hours.  After a busy day of high level meetings with industry experts,  President Joe Biden announced Wednesday morning, October 13, that the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating 24/7.  Supported by both Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, there will be a ramp up of hours, and major retailers have committed to using the longer hours and accelerate their removal of cargo from the ports.   

We know that this is not a silver bullet as the entire supply chain eco-system is congested, but it is potentially a step in the right direction to help reduce congestion at the most clogged up area in the country.

Some of the trouble spots in the last week are listed below:

Savannah port:  While we have some good news in LA/LB, the congestion in Savannah has ramped up over the last few weeks and there are announcements from two major carriers, Hapag Lloyd and ONE that they are cancelling their calls from Europe to Savannah as of  November 1.   We have also seen announcements of further congestion surcharges for port calls in Savannah, so for those of you using Savannah port, you may need to make adjustments in your port of arrival or expect to pay surcharges.

Italy:  Italy is currently plagued with labor issues at the ports, primarily due to the resistance of the requirement of either proof of COVID 19 vaccine or negative test results. The port of Trieste has been on strike, creating a trickle down of delays. Genoa has been also been affected in the last week, and there is a 3 day strike planned for the port of Livorno next week. Equipment is already in short supply, and these labor issues will make the problem worse. Check on your shipments and be prepared for delays.

Chile:  The port of San Antonio continues to be hit with weather issues and we are getting updates today on another “cut and run” situation with a vessel not able to complete the loading thus containers getting left behind and rolled to the next vessel. The backlog continues to be significant, and the costs from alternative ports tend to be much higher. 

New Zealand:  The feeder vessels from the port of Nelson continue to be plagued with schedule disruption.  This past week, one of the key feeders announced a few days prior to loading that the feeder vessel was omitting the main load port of Tauranga.  This type of issue creates the backlog,  as slots on the mother vessels may already be booked for the following weeks and cargo can potentially delay 3-4 weeks due to one feeder vessel disruption.  We continually work on creative solutions to move cargo overland, but like everything in this congested system, adjustments add more costs.

UK:  Brexit appears to be raising its ugly head in a variety of ways.  The UK border force and HMRC (Customs) have had a post-Brexit grace period enabling customs entries to be filed after delivery of products in the UK from Europe. The grace period was expected to end on January 1, 2022 but we have had reports that this grace period has been abruptly terminated. One trucker advised that the trucks are now being stopped and checked to ensure that the UK Entry is completed, and if the entry is done, the cargo could be seized.  For those of you shipping products from Europe into the UK, please be aware of potential changes and make sure all documentation and entries are filed timely.  We are also seeing a significant shortage of trucks in the UK and seeing delays in getting ocean containers moved to the ports and inter-european moves. Furthermore, there are ongoing disputes as to the rules in place for Northern Ireland with suggestions that British Prime Minister Johnson never intended to honor the agreement put in place. Interesting times.

Please contact us should you have any questions on any regions of the world and we would be happy to provide further insight.