May 15, 2024

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.

Baltimore: The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command (“Unified Command”) has announced that the Port of Baltimore Maryland will soon reopen for commercial cargo vessel operations with limited access via a temporary navigable channel. Based on this announcement, we are again accepting limited cargo bookings both inbound to and outbound from Baltimore based on the Unified Command instructions. Please check our current schedule current schedule of vessels going to Baltimore. (This schedule is subject to change, without notice, based on any further actions of the Unified Command.)

New York/Newark: The port is at full capacity due to construction work on the port authority's ramp expansion project. Exports of POV continue to be restricted. However, when these restrictions are lifted, capacity issues are expected to worsen. Newark is also supporting the additional influx of volume due to the Baltimore incident.

Brunswick: Port and terminal congestion persists due to the ongoing influx of BAL cargos resulting from the Key Bridge collapse. However, we anticipate a reduction in these additional volumes once BAL resumes vessel operations. Additionally, upcoming road closures due to port construction will commence in the following weeks, directly affecting vessel and terminal traffic.

Charleston: No capacity or congestion issues to report, however, vehicle capacity at Columbus Street has been reduced by 6,000 car spaces due to recent flooding situations. Dredging has been completed and all berths are back to operational depths for vessel operations.

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: The port is currently experiencing vessel congestion due to a significant increase in the influx of newly manufactured cars from Asia. Additionally, there is a shortage of railcars, which is further impacting our operations. As a result, we anticipate delays ranging from 1 to 10 days for certain vessels.

Port Hueneme: The port is facing congestion, which has raised the risk of delays. Vessels carrying OEM vehicles from Asia in particular are experiencing extended wait times, with delays potentially reaching up to seven days.

San Diego: High risk of vessel bunching-related delays (1 to 7 days)

Vancouver: Some of the Vessels carrying newly manufactured autos from Asia are experiencing delays of up to 10 days due to railcar shortages and vessel bunching.

Panama: Recent updates indicate a stabilizing situation, with traffic flows returning to normal. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced an increase in booking slots for the Panamax locks starting May 16, 2024, based on current and projected Gatun Lake levels. This development reflects the resilience of this vital waterway, offering optimism for the shipping industry and global trade.

Mexico: Cargo throughput has increased at the ports of Altamira and Veracruz.. Altamira has maintained efficiency due to an additional berthing position.​ At Lazaro Cardenas, we've noted some delays in cargo pick-up from the terminal. However, the overall activity at the port of Lazaro Cardenas is on an upward trend.​

Caldera, Costa Rica: Recently our ships have experienced delays of up to 18 days in docking, which has a considerable impact on our operational costs and customer satisfaction. To minimize the impact on our service, we've modified ship rotations and arranged for cargo transshipment at alternate ports. We're collaborating with the port authority and government to improve berthing schedules and prioritize our vessels.

At our processing centers

Vehicle processing:
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.

Equipment processing:
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.

Inland distribution

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.