November 21, 2023
On the ocean
We've been managing capacity as best as possible given unprecedented circumstances to support our customers and keep their cargo moving. We encourage you to continue to communicate with our dedicated sales organization and provide accurate forecasts. Accurate forecasts will support better deployment of our capacity across our trades and in turn better support your business.
In addition, given port congestion and labor constraints at some of our ports in North America, please consider delivering your cargo following cut off guidelines (taking into account washing and fumigation timelines). As a result, we kindly ask you to consider delivery of your cargo as close as possible to receiving cut off (vessel ETA). This will allow us to better utilize space at our ports and terminals as well as allow for more efficient vessel loading and unloading operations. Early delivery of cargo is causing high inventory levels and it is impacting our efficiency and flexibility to operate our vessels.
In ports and terminals
Port operations are working very hard to ensure safe and efficient service in our ports. High occupancy levels at some of our key ports, as well as very low pick-up rates, are some of the main challenges. We are continuing to work with partners to mitigate further delays and ensure safe and efficient vessel operations.
New York/Newark: Currently, the Port of Newark is experiencing severe congestion due to an ongoing port reconstruction program. All berths along the channel are impacted. While we have managed to maintain schedules so far, potential delays are anticipated during the holiday season. Please note that the export suspension for POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) remains in effect.
Savannah and Brunswick: Operational consolidation to a single berth at Savannah has continued until the full move to Brunswick. This relocation has helped mitigate the space issues from Oceania-bound cargoes previously routed through Savannah, but space remains highly limited due to construction projects and the new cargo commencement.
Galveston: The port is operating at full capacity, with incoming vessels contributing to the limited availability of space, particularly for large tracked and wheeled units.
Tacoma: We are observing vessel bunching which may lead to delays ranging from 1 to 5 days for some vessels, evaluated on a case-by-case basis in November.
Port Hueneme: No delays are anticipated for November. However, we are monitoring the situation for early December, as the risk for vessel bunching and potential delays is considered elevated.
Long Beach: We are pleased to report that there are no current delays at the port.
San Diego: There is an elevated risk for delays related to vessel bunching towards the end of November. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.
Vancouver: Some of the Vessels carrying newly manufactured autos from Asia are experiencing delays of up to 10 days due to rail shortages and vessel bunching.
Panama: The Panama Canal Authority has instituted water-saving measures due to the ongoing dry season, including the use of water-saving basins and cross-filling methods in lock operations. However, a prolonged dry spell and the lowest rainfall on record since 1950 have necessitated the reduction of daily transit capacity to about 32 vessels starting in July. We are working closely with the Panama Canal Authority to monitor and respond to these conditions, ensuring the continuation of quality service. Our team is proactively working to mitigate potential impacts on our services, such as securing earlier canal crossing slots, which are currently scarce due to the circumstances. Despite recent protests and road blockades in key areas like Panama and Colon, our Canal and Ports operations have not been significantly affected. We remain vigilant and are prepared to respond to any escalation in these activities, which could disrupt crew movements and create logistical challenges. For the safety and efficiency of our operations, our team has transitioned to remote work and is fully accessible through mobile and email communications. As we aim to maintain our high standards of service, we ask for your understanding that schedules may change in response to the evolving situation and workforce availability.
Mexico: We have seen a 60 percent reduction in delays during the last 2 months, and the vessels that have called this month have had no disruptions. Infrastructure enhancements have contributed to the improved conditions, including a new storage area at the Port of Veracruz and an additional berth at IPM terminal in Altamira.
At our processing centers
Operations: Our port processing centers are open and operational. As production continues to be disrupted, we continue to be flexible in the services we offer, how we organize our sites, as well as seeking additional storage options where necessary.
Mexico: All facilities remain open and fully operational, having adapted to a 'new normal' p. Special safety measures, including the use of face masks, are no longer required, having been phased out following our successful navigation of the public health challenge. We continue to work closely with plant production and vehicle distribution areas across every facility nationwide to ensure resources are effectively adjusted. Thanks to a drastic reduction in plant shutdowns in 2023, and through efficient management, we currently face a volume production outlook that even surpasses pre-pandemic times.
Canada: We're experiencing record-breaking spring volumes at our Richmond and Annacis ports, exceeding 2023 forecasts. Infrastructure improvements are underway, and while this temporarily reduces capacity, we're managing increased volumes through added staff and partnerships with shipping agents and railroads. There may be constraints on vessel discharges due to this surge.
Operations: Our equipment processing centers in the U.S. and Panama are open and operational, though with reduced staff in some locations to reflect demand.
Capacity: We continue to see strong volumes at both our on-port and off-port EPC sites and encourage our customers to both look at their upcoming forecasts and any planned changes to assist planning for our operations teams.
Keen Transport’s trucks are operational and deliver units to and from ports, plants and dealerships. The regional maintenance facilities are open to keep the fleet on the road, as well as our permitting team to secure necessary approvals.