US Congestion Spreads To MidWest

by | Jan 21, 2019

US container congestion has now spread to the Midwest, with cargo owners facing delays and demurrage bills costing thousands as containers stockpile in both Memphis and Chicago.

Large surges of imports into Los Angeles and Long Beach in December caused major congestion which has now spread inland. The ongoing issues of chassis and trucker shortages have been dramatically affected by the spike in volume and both carriers and terminal operators are warning that this disruption may continue until the end of February.

The current gridlock was impacted by imports rising to more than 20 percent in December, thought to be caused by tariff hikes that were originally scheduled to rise to 25 percent on the 1st of January.

Products usually not moved until Spring have been shipped ahead of the proposed increases in tariffs, although the Trump administration delayed the date of the escalation, but only after the cargo was in transit.

With the surge coming inland, the carrier chassis pools are limited and currently there aren’t enough for the international containers being moved. Truckers have volunteered their own chassis, but terminal operators refuse.

For the time being, some terminals are levying demurrage fees of around $100 per day.

UniOcean Lines are operating numerous vessel loops from China, including our Trans Pacific, Northern Europe, Australasia and Inter Asian services.

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