BRi USA News - Multiple Carriers Slash Trans-Pacific Capacity


Dear all Valued Customers


With markets across most of Europe and North America locked down in a battle with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and no indication when demand-crushing stay-at-home orders will be lifted, many carriers are making rapid capacity adjustments.


The 2M Alliance of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. will suspend for the entire second quarter one weekly service from North Asia to the US West Coast and a weekly string from South Asia to the East Coast, the carriers said Thursday. They’ll also blank additional individual sailings to North America.


Maersk said the 2M will cover port calls offered on the two weekly strings that are being suspended with other weekly services in the same trade lanes. The 2M is suspending the TP 11/Elephant service from South Asia to the East Coast and the TP 8/Orient service from North Asia to the West Coast. The 2M will cover the TP 8’s calls to Ningbo and Busan via its TP 2 and TP 6 loops, respectively, Maersk said in an advisory. In addition, the 2M Alliance will blank five individual sailings, all from Asia to the East Coast, in April and May.


The reductions in trans-Pacific capacity, which follow an announcement Wednesday by THE Alliance of 32 blank sailings in the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades, are a sign of things to come as many retailers and manufacturers cancel purchase orders at factories in Asia due to crashing consumer demand as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads globally.


THE Alliance has announced the cancellation of 32 sailings in April on the Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific, and trans-Atlantic trades. Between week 15 (starting April 6) and week 18 (April 27), THE Alliance will cancel seven sailings on the Asia-North Europe trade, five on Asia-Mediterranean, 11 on Asia-US West Coast, five on Asia-US East Coast, and four on the trans-Atlantic routes. Alphaliner estimates the blanked sailings on the Asia-North Europe and Med services will affect 15 ships with a total capacity of 235,000 TEU.


The carriers also left the door open for further capacity reductions should demand remain depressed if the economic recession linked to measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus persists.


In addition to voided sailings announced by 2M and THE Alliance, BRi USA has received notifications from OCEAN Alliance and ONE. This trend is expected to continue through April and into early May, and anticipated to encompass many carriers. During this time please ensure your suppliers are communicating bookings as far in advance as feasible with our Operations Reps and our overseas offices, provide accurate forecasts and avoid cancelling bookings when possible, and consider alternate/flexible routes for your supply chain needs.


U.S. Ports Status Update


Below is a general overview of the operations BRi USA 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 - Terminals at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma have set aside space for trailers, container equipment and storage needs in support of the U.S. Army's Field Hospital Region 10, which is to being set up week. This Field Hospital will take pressure off local hospitals by accepting non-COVID-19 patients. All terminals are closed Saturday and Sunday as well as the Pierce County Terminals will be closed on Tuesday, April 7.


Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach - The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are generally fluid now, but with reduced cargo flow. Several terminals are not operating second shifts on Friday and are closed on Saturday and Sunday.


Port of Houston - With eight blank sailings from Asia February – March, volume was down but not near as severe as other with ports. The port is encouraged with the import/export volume in March that they are balanced regardless of the pandemic. The port of Houston that has identified 50 acres nearby to store empty containers and is also adding 120 acres through a container yard expansion.


Port of New York/New Jersey - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey surveying warehouse owners and operators to gauge their vacant capacity to handle the excess cargo. The port also received the US Naval Hospital Ship Comfort this week, which will treat non-COVID patients, taking pressure off NY/NJ hospitals. 


Port of Baltimore – After select terminals adjusted hours due to low volume, the Port of Baltimore terminals have returned to 7:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. hours of operations.


North Carolina Ports (Wilmington & Charleston) – The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) expects a sharp drop in volume through the Port of Charleston due to automakers shutting down plants and not shipping at this time, operating hours will remain unchanged and truckers should not face delays in returning empty container and chassis. 


Port of Virginia (Norfolk) – In addition to identifying sufficient storage space to accommodate the additional volume should a surge in cargo occur, the Port of Virginia has published their Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). In their COOP, they identify the parameters in place to work with local government and authorities should someone involved with the port contract COVID – 19.


Port of Georgia (Savannah) - Georgia Port Authority has announced that due to current market conditions, it will be extending the Saturday Gate closure through the entire month of April, 4/4/2020 through 4/25/2020, this includes all services for dry and refrigerated containers.


APHIS Announces Phase Six of the Lacey Act Enforcement Schedule


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the implementation of phase six of the Lacey Act enforcement schedule, which will go into effect on October 1, 2020. The Lacey Act combats trafficking in illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants.


Within phase six of the enforcement schedule, more HTS codes/items are scheduled to be subject to the Lacey Act import requirements on October 1. The full list, which includes everything from wooden trunks, suitcases to musical instruments was posted is posted in the Federal Register here. 


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has also released interim guidance for the submission of Phytosanitary Certificates for the imports of plants and plant products to CBP Agricultural Specialists. APHIS PPQ provides updates on import and export activities such as permit applications, etc. Certain data sets will be required once APHIS data for regulated products (such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, animal products, miscellaneous processed products, and certain seeds/plans) is to be submitted via ACE.


As a valued customer, we hope that you will continue to trust us to source the best options for your supply chain needs now and into the future. Please feel free to contact your Customer Solutions Representative, should you have any queries or concerns regarding USA News,


Keeping you updated,

BRi Customer Solutions Team

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