January 12, 2021 | By Jay Devers

Hapag Lloyd North American update puts in stark terms the port and inland rail congestion

We received the following operational update from Hapag Lloyd for North America and have chosen to reprint the announcement in its entirety to underscore the challenges that supply chains are facing in keeping cargo moving.


We would like to update you on operational status in Canada and the United States.


Los Angeles / Long Beach (LAX/LGB) Vessel/Terminal (T) Delay Update:

There are currently 35 ships at anchor awaiting berths in LAX/LGB as of Friday Jan 8th. All terminals continue to be congested due to the spike in import volumes and the same is expected to last until February 2021.

Moreover, terminals are working with limited labor and split shifts (COVID-19 related). This labor shortages affect all terminals Turn-around-time (TAT) for truckers, inter terminal transfers, the number of daily appointments available for gate transactions and generates delays in our vessels operations. Also a lack of terminal space due to congestion for operating the vessels. Dual transactions are encouraged and the Port Authority is pushing this process to keep freight moving in the complex.

Rail Operations

Long Beach, CA – Average 6.9 days (T), 2.2 days at ramp: total 9.1 days
Los Angeles, CA – Average 15.8 days (T), 2 days at ramp: total 17.8 days

New York Terminal Delay Update:

Berth congestion at Maher Terminal and APM Terminals is currently impacting all services with delays of several days being experienced upon arrival.

Dublin Express is currently at anchorage due to a crewmember testing positive for COVID. Pilots requiring all crew members be tested before they will board to bring vessel to dock. Earliest possible docking is currently projected as January 12th.

Increased dwell times for import volumes, and large inventories of empty containers continue to impact operations at all terminals. Gate turn times for truckers have increased slightly due shortened work weeks and volumes.
Terminals have been extending gate / terminal hours when necessary to accommodate import deliveries.

Canadian Terminal Delays Update:

Heavy congestion at all terminals due to the spike in import volumes and the same is expected to last until the end of Q1 2021.
Weekend labor shortages and high winds continue to impact productivity. Berth delays at Prince Rupert are particularly long with vessels being held off berth for days and Change of rotation (COR) / omissions in some cases
Rail: Railcar supply stable, however, under target which is contributing to yard and berth congestion.


Capacity limitation in certain markets due to import volume spikes and severe drivers’ shortage. Please find main markets, and estimate lead-time to secure capacity below (Note: Lead time refers to timeframe to secure truck power, it is not dwell time):

Markets / Average 12-days+:

Savannah, GA – Memphis, TN – Baltimore, MD – Macon, GA – Atlanta, GA – Norfolk, VA – New York, NY

Markets / Average 7-days+:

Boston, MA – Cincinnati, OH – Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL – Cincinnati, OH – Kansas City, MO – Tacoma, WA – Seattle, WA – Dallas, TX – Los Angeles, CA – Long Beach, CA –- Philadelphia, PA – Houston, TX – Council Bluffs, IA – Charleston, SC – Charlotte, NC – Jacksonville, FL – Miami/PT. Everglades, FL

Markets / Average 4-days +:

Cleveland, OH – Columbus, OH – Detroit, MI – Indianapolis, IN– Minneapolis, MN – Pittsburgh, PA – Birmingham, AL – Greensboro, NC – Greer, SC – Huntsville, AL – Louisville, KY – Denver, CO – Santa Teresa, NM – Laredo, TX – Portland, OR – New Orleans, LA – Oakland, CA


Congestions at some terminals [T] & rail ramps [R] (imports):

  • Halifax, CA – Average 5.9 days (T), 5 days at ramp: total 10.9 days
  • Montreal, CA – Average 2.6 days (T), 6.1 days at ramp: total 8.7 days
  • Vancouver, CA – Average 2.5 days (T), 12.9 days at ramp: total 15.4 days
  • New York, NY – Average 6.1 days (T), 3.1 days at ramp: total 9.2 days
  • Charleston, SC – Average 3.2 days (T), 3.2 days at ramp: total 6.4 days
  • Savannah, GA – Average 4.9 days (T), 2.8 days at ramp: total 7.7 days
  • Norfolk, VA – Average 3.8 days (T), 5.6 days at ramp: total 9.4 days
  • Kansa City, MO – 7.2 days (ramp)
  • Chicago, IL – 8.1 days (ramp)
  • Memphis, TN – 5 days (ramp)
  • Council Bluff, IA – 7.4 days (ramp)
  • Detroit, MI – 6 days (ramp)


Chassis availability issues are being encountered in Oakland – Minneapolis – Omaha – Cincinnati – Cleveland – Detroit – Louisville – Pittsburgh – Dallas – Tampa – Philadelphia – New York – Dallas – Baltimore – Los Angeles / Long Beach.

This information and more can be found on our website in the North America COVID-19 updates section.