Ocean Import Update
The OEC Group would like to take this opportunity to notify our customers of current market conditions affecting service, costs, and schedule integrity as we move into October 2020. As Canada & The United States continue to reopen their respective economies, demand continues to strain all aspects of global container shipping.
Port Congestion: Significant delays in loading containers to rail and trucks have increased dwell times to levels not seen in recent years. Specifically, at the port of Halifax, where congestion and dwell times are at unprecedented levels because of the diverted vessels from the strike at the Port of Montreal. The increase in volumes were met with a lack of railcar supply, which in turn has caused major backlog to get containers loaded to rail.
On the West Coast we are also seeing vessel berthing dates being delayed up to two weeks because of port congestion. The terminals are advising the carrier to slow steam as they do not have the capacity to accept additional loaders.
Ad-Hoc Schedule Changes: In efforts to re-position equipment, offset space requirements from overburdened ports and increase overall capacity, carriers have omitted and/or added loaders and vessels to certain service strings. As a result, we are seeing many delays with departures from Trans-Pacific ports.
Blank Sailings: Carriers will continue a strategy of strong capacity management to maintain profitable rate levels and bridge gaps between supply and demand.
Schedule Integrity: All the above factors have contributed to greater volatility and disruption to on-time performance. Customers must build in longer lead times and book earlier than previously required to manage fulfillment deadlines
As a customer of OEC Group, please be advised that we are doing all possible to mitigate disruption to our customers’ supply chains. As we move into the fall, we will continue to proactively manage and communicate with our customers as this dynamic shipping environment continues to evolve and unfold.