Ripple Effect of Terminal Congestion

Port of Baltimore container cranes lifting containers off of a cargo ship.
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Ripple Effect of Terminal Congestion



Ripple Effect of Terminal Congestion

Customers of the Port of Baltimore are beginning to feel the impact of the severe congestion that has put extended delays on the terminal operations at the Seagirt Marine Terminal. This is mostly caused by the "bunching" phenomenon which we have seen at many other ports. The combination of larger vessels and extra vessels caused by the increased shipping from Asia prior to Chinese New Year has meant a substantially increased number of containers to handle in a condensed amount of time.

With volumes on the increase, terminal operators and truckers are under severe pressure to maintain maximum productivity. The truckers are rightly upset by the slower than normal turn times. Management/labor disputes have been one result of this which has also not been helpful. The congestion can be expected to continue for the next few weeks but should begin to improve after that. All parties are working hard to resolve these issues including the implementation of extended gate hours.

Due to the increased wait times and driver detention, many carriers are now implementing Pier Detention charges for any drivers held for longer than 2 hours in an attempt to make up for the loss in productivity. These fees can run on average $85 - $100 per hour. In order to help alleviate some of the congestion, all chassis have been moved off terminal, which requires an additional stop-off for any inbound or outbound traffic. Due to this change, carriers have now also begun to implement a Chassis Split fee, something that is common at larger ports and rail-heads but has not been seen before at the Port of Baltimore. These fees can average $75 - $85 per stop off.

We at John S. Connor want our customers to be aware of these changes and how they may impact their supply chain. Please contact your Sales Representative or Account Supervisor with any questions or concerns. We will do our best to work with all parties and get your cargo moved as quickly as possible.