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Dear all Valued Customers
As we have communicated since the end of January, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused disruptions for nearly all aspects of the global supply chain.
Servicing your supply chain and the health of our employees is our highest priority.
As your Supply Chain Partner, we have a few key updates to share:
The governments of several states/major metropolitan cities have enacted “stay at home” rules to control the virus.
California is now in lock down!
We are seeing further changes and concerns being raised around the “non-essential” services situation which could mean 3PL/warehouses locations being closed due to not being able to legally have personnel on site
While the supply chain sector remains a critical need, we are looking at supporting these efforts and transitioning a number of our workforce to virtual environments in their homes.
As such, some employees will be working remotely as others will remain in the offices to facilitate any tasks necessary.
All remote employees may be reached by email and/or cell phones and will be checking office voicemails throughout the day.
We do not anticipate service interruptions as a result of this move.
Note that all BRi warehouses will continue operations as normal with additional preventative steps integrated into daily operations.
As with unforeseen circumstances in the past such as hurricanes, bankruptcies, strikes, etc., COVID-19 is proving impossible to predict.
Currently cargo continues to move through the ports and via truck despite recent short-term port closures which have led to isolated disruption.
With the threat of extended port closures, the availability of truck drivers and significantly reduced air freight capacity, we wish to remind you that Carriers may invoke their force majeure clause in the event of severe supply chain disruption.
BRi USA force majeure clause may be found in our Terms and Conditions of Service.
As a valued customer, I hope that you will continue to trust us to source the best options for your supply chain needs.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach come back to me personally on email so I can assist you one on one at this time
Updated Major U.S. Ports Operations Status
Below is a general overview of the operations BRI has been able to gather for most major U.S. ports.
This list will be updated as information is made available.
Port of Seattle/Tacoma - Seattle and Tacoma have a rule change that all vessels coming from "at risk countries" must wait 14 days prior to being piloted to the port. There is limited vessels affected by this ruling at this time.
Port of Los Angeles & Long Beach – All ports are open and operating normally at this time. All containers must be picked up by shippers and empties/chassis returned in order to avoid terminals reaching their yard capacities.
Port of Houston - The Port of Houston responded quickly yesterday and closed operations after an employee reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. After a thorough investigation, the appropriate quarantine measures were taken for the effected and port deemed safe to reopen at 7:00 p.m.
Port Miami - Port Miami closed today, March 20, due to low import volume. The terminal director stated that the port had low imports from China into the port due to blanked sailings, but would be extending free time for all import containers.
The below port status remain unchanged:
Port of New York & New Jersey – For freight originated from Asia, the port has had slightly more time to plan. 13 total blanked sailings are expected and 3 more in April. When vessels do return, the port expects issues with rail car supply for intermodal and chassis availability. As a result, NY/NJ is working with terminal operators to pre-empt this issue as much as possible.
Port of Virginia (Norfolk) – Volumes coming out of China are beginning to, albeit slowly, return to normal. With recent infrastructure improvements, the port has added capacity for containers but expects disruptions are still inevitable. The port also continues to operate a weekly barge service to Baltimore and Philadelphia, in the efforts to further alleviate potential congestion.
North Carolina Ports (Wilmington & Charleston) – While blanked sailings will continue to cause effects, Wilmington has recently made improvements to expand velocity. Current construction is furthering this initiative. Congestion is expected, but with the growth – hopefully minimized. Charleston is expecting a 20% drop in volume through April. No terminals closed as of yet as China-origin freight is only 25% of Charleston’s business exposure. The port is looking to summer for business to normalize.
Georgia Ports (Savannah) – The Georgia Ports Authority anticipates a double-digit decline in Savannah’s March volumes due to 30 blank sailings, and while Saturday hours will be temporarily cut, no weekday shifts will be eliminated or hours curtailed. With recent improvements, the throughput of the port has increased significantly. As a result, the Port of Savannah hopes this will minimize disruptions.
Port of New Orleans (NOLA) – Volumes were down significantly in February due to blanked sailings for China freight. NOLA is experiencing some empty container shortages for exports, but many of their carriers source empties from Central America, so this issue is minimal. However, NOLA does also have carriers that source from Memphis and Dallas, where supplies are tightening.
To ensure you maintain visibility to your shipments as they move through the supply chain, please take advantage of our shipment management tool (PATHWAY).
For our USA Customers to obtain a login for your account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
BRI USA will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and its effect on clients’ global supply chains.
Please feel free to respond to this email or contact your assigned Customer Solutions Representative if you have any questions.
As always we thank you for your support and wish you all well at this time.
Keeping you updated,
BRi Customer Solutions Team
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