Freight Updates: Weather, Congestion, and the Chinese New Year

By Supply Chain Solutions in SCS Blog on

Freight Updates

Weather Disruptions

The freezing weather conditions create disruptions like delays with truck power, with some places like Chicago and Grand Rapids receiving over 12 inches of snow in the last 48 hours. Many drivers are not on the road due to safety concerns or just being snowed in.

Also with the temperature falling below freezing, trucks will have a hard time starting and operating in general. We have heard from many of our carriers and they are working with limited staff/drivers due to this weather.

Our Logistics team is working on a case by case basis to ensure loads are covered and drivers are safe. Please contact your Logistics Coordinator or email us here if you have any questions or concerns.

West Coast Congestion

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been hit with a severe congestion for the past couple of weeks. The congestion and added vessel calls are creating labor shortage at the West Coast terminals. Vessels generally have to wait two to three shifts after arrival before labor is available for operations. 

With the volume increase and traffic congestion around the port area, truck power is not able to keep up with demand. This poses a challenge in getting truckers to take containers out of the terminals, or to timely return containers and chassis. Besides, despite expanding the chassis pool of pools (PoP), chassis supply remains constrained. This is due to a combination of the spike in import volume and the lack of truck power, leading importers to hold on to containers and chassis longer than usual.

Consequently, terminal space is now maxed out and average street dwell time has increased by 3 days to 7 days. Railcar supply is also challenged, which forces terminals to change many destinations from on-dock to off-dock. This means that containers need to be trucked out of the port, putting more pressure on trucker and chassis supply.

Our Logistics team is working to avoid delays. Please contact your Logistics Coordinator or email us here if you have any questions or concerns.

Chinese New Year: Blank Sailing

We hope you are ready for Chinese New Year! All the preparation and inventory planning already took place, but it is also important to think of the aftermath. 

Blank sailing is a term that means there is a cancelled sailing. A blank sailing could refer to a vessel skipping a port or the entire journey being cancelled. For you, importer, that would mean your goods are not going to the be transported by that vessel like you thought and you will have to rearrange that booking - which can take time. 

Some blank sailings end up taking place after the Chinese New Year in order to reduce capacity and increase freight rates. 

Having full visibility of your supply is really important so you can deal with situations like this. At Supply Chain Solutions we offer the right tools and processes so you can have that visibility; and, our Logistics Coordinators will make sure you get your goods on their way as soon as possible!

If you are importing and want some help with blank sailings, contact us here!