We would like to inform you that almost all of the US West Coast ocean terminal operations and most major US rail yards have been experiencing extreme congestion due to increased import volumes. Please know that RIM logistics, ltd. is doing everything possible to expedite your shipments. Based on the current port and rail conditions, all containers are subject to potential delays and possible demurrage and other related storage charges. Please be aware that we are working aggressively with the carriers, ocean terminals, the railroads and your/our truckers to minimize any potential demurrage and detention issues impacting your business. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during this extremely challenging time.
The below article has been posted by the Union Pacific Railroad, as an example of the current state of the market:
There is significant chassis tightness in several key markets, as the heavy surge of imports that landed on the U.S. West Coast, prior to the New Year, continues to flow to the inland terminals. Currently, tightness of international chassis at our DIT (Dallas), Marion (Memphis), Global 4 (Chicago), Dupo (St. Louis), and Englewood (Houston) terminals are forcing us to ground and stack containers waiting for chassis. The circumstance at each terminal is slightly different and not each chassis pool is deficit; however, each terminal is being impacted.
There is still a considerable amount of import freight at the West Coast ports, so we expect heavy volumes to continue at the inland terminals for several weeks. Given that we expect to have to continue stacking some containers at various inland terminals over the next several weeks, the Union Pacific is making some changes to both improve your driver’s experience as well as ensure that our terminals remain fluid.
For those motor carriers that access international boxes, the following will apply:
Early next week, we plan to provide visibility to which containers are stacked versus containers on chassis through some changes to our location reporting.
These changes will include the following:
- As you (or any other party on the container waybill) trace a container that is at an inland terminal, any boxes that are stacked will now show a parking location of “STACK.”
- You should NOT send drivers for any boxes in “STACK” status, as they will be unavailable for pickup.
- Once the stacked containers have been put on chassis and are available for pickup, the Union Pacific will re-notify the customer that the container is available for pickup.
- Any drayage provider coming in with a chassis will be unable to pick up a stacked container (i.e., No “cherry-picking”).
- For any containers that are grounded, the Union Pacific will make its best effort to place the oldest containers on chassis first.
Temporary Storage Charge Changes
We recognize that the entire international intermodal supply chain is being challenged during this time of unprecedented freight. To support efficient movement of the most accessible freight, the Union Pacific will temporarily make a change to its storage program at current location, where we are stacking containers. Beginning at 12:01 AM on Monday, January 7, the Union Pacific will temporarily adjust our storage charge program at DIT, Marion, Global 4, Dupo, and Englewood to maintain a consistent $100 per day storage charge for all applicable chargeable days. Charges will not go up the $200 per day charge on the sixth chargeable day. The Union Pacific will maintain this approach as long as we deem necessary. We appreciate our customers working with us to continue to move freight as efficiently and quickly off the ramps as we can and will monitor each ramp on a customer basis.
The changes above currently only apply to marine containers at the international intermodal terminals addressed above. We will add other terminals as needed and inform you of any additional changes.
We appreciate your cooperation as we mutually work through this volume surge. We believe the changes we are making will help with your planning ability and ultimately, your customer experience.
— Union Pacific Premium Operations
Source: International Chassis Storage Update. (January 4, 2019). Retrieved from https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/intermodal/allintermodal/IM2019-8.html.