The port and terminal situation in the US - please prepare for delays!

Winter is here, and it is impacting the transportation schedules due to operational challenges at ports, yards and terminals.

All major rail road operators were impacted by historic low temperatures the week before last forcing a reduction of train lengths and speed, which are impacting rail dwells in Los Angeles/Long Beach and Newark amongst other gateways. Currently, temperatures has dropped again as another winter storm moves from the Pacific North West through the Midwest challenging a full recovery of inland operations.

In addition, dense fog in the US Gulf continues to cause channel closures and extended waiting time for most vessels calling Houston and Mobile.

The above are impacting the ocean freight for many reason. To name a few there is currently heavy congestion in the Houston ship channel due to intermittent closures. Berth congestion in Savannah and tight truck capacity in Atlanta have the potential to cause delays. Furthermore, Chicago is affected by low temperatures and congestion in all rail ramps.

The trucks are having a hard time reaching their destinations, and deliveries are suffering from heavy delays. The degrees below freezing-point make the air dryers crack, turn diesel into gel and freeze the brake lines. There is always a shortage of truckers, but due to many loads being delayed the capacity is even tighter.

All in all, we prepare our customers for delays. We are moving as fast as possible based despite the weather challenges. Should you have any questions concerning this matter, please reach out to your SGL contact person.

Best regards
Eva Brasar
Global Director Seafreight