Supply chain, logistics and freight
Ports are deemed essential services by the US Government and are continuing cargo operations. Although they are exempt from stay-at-home orders, some ports have been reducing on-site staffing and closing administration or non-essential buildings. There are estimates that cargo volumes at many US ports during the first quarter of 2020 may be down by 20% or more compared to 2019.
Ocean-going vessels are still coming in, and container ports are open. A large drop in cargo from China has caused some port capacity closure due to a drop in demand. However, long-term contracts for shipping are being honoured and prices seem to be stable. A surge in demand in the coming weeks is expected as a backlog of Chinese shipments begins to come back online.
Many ports are comprised of private transportation companies, so there may be some individual changes in operations for some companies. For example, while the Seattle Port remains open, some of its cargo terminals closed because of a reduction in import activity.
Similarly, the Port of Los Angeles, though the port remains open and operational, has reported a drop of 22.9% in volume in February as compared to 2019, and is projecting that trend to continue in March.
Although air cargo shipments are still coming in, overall air cargo capacity has tightened, and rates have increased dramatically due to the loss of 'belly' cargo normally carried on passenger flights.
Trucking or road-going freight capacity has dropped sharply, due to domestic demand for consumer goods and increases in online ordering.
Exporters should maintain close contact with their preferred freight forwarders and shipping lines, who will be providing regular updates. For updates on the overall impacts to shipping and logistics, please see the sites below:
Top US ports of entry for New Zealand goods
Baltimore, MD (Port)
Boston, MA (Port)
Charleston, SC (Port)
Chicago, IL (Port)
Honolulu, HI (Port)
Houston, TX (Port)
2019 Import Customs Value (USD): 119,297,550
Long Beach, CA (Port)
Los Angeles, CA (Port)
Miami, FL (Port)
Newark, NJ (Port)
2019 Import Customs Value (USD): 110,175,601
New Orleans, LA (Port)
New York, NY (Port)
2019 Import Customs Value (USD): 54,668,068
Norfolk-Newport News, VA (Port)
2019 Import Customs Value (USD): 11,472,795
Oakland, CA (Port)
Philadelphia, PA (Port)
Port Everglades, FL (Port)
Providence, RI (Port)
San Francisco, CA (Port)
Savannah, GA (Port)
Seattle, WA (Port)