Impact of Covid-19 on North American freight operations


Across our network, Hillebrand is committed to ensuring the health and safety of staff and easing the logistics challenges our customers are facing from COVID-19. 

For business operations in the USA and Canada, we have provided the following updates on imports, exports and domestic operations (subject to change at any time).  

In accordance with our Terms of use, the Contents are provided for general information purposes only. Hillebrand does not represent or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the Contents.  Any reliance you place on the Contents is strictly at your own risk.  Hillebrand disclaims all liability arising from any reliance placed on the Contents by you or anyone who may be informed of their content.

(Last updated: August 4th 2020, 10:40 AM EDT) 

Port / container railyard operations:  

  • Alert for Tropical Storm Isaias on the East Coast. Tropical storm winds, rainfall and a few feet of storm surge may bring flooding from the Mid-Atlantic to New England today through tonight.  Port terminals are on high alert with or delayed openings in North Carolina, Virginia, and Charleston.  Port terminals at New York / New Jersey have announced early closures at 11/12 Eastern today 8/4.  Port of Miami has reopened today.    
  • Los Angeles / Long Beach - California:  Pier A closed second shift 8/4 and 8/7
  • Miami / Port Everglades: POMTOC closed 8/3 due to Tropical Storm Isaias.  FIT closed 8/3 due to volumes. PET closed 8/3 and 8/7.   
  • Seattle, Washington: T18-SSA closed 8/7.
  • Rail services networks: operational, with some reduced shifts and Saturday closures at container yards
  • Domestic and overland operations: Hillebrand's North American warehouse network is fully operational with staff working with expanded safety precautions.  Supply chain partners (trucking companies for drayage and last mile services) are essential and continue to operate. 


How to plan for upcoming shipments and recovery 

The three major driving conditions affecting international shipments are: the reduction in capacity (cancelled sailings) on all major trade corridors, the movement and supply of container units, especially reefers, and the shorter windows at port terminals, yards and warehouse to deliver loaded containers and pick up empties. 

As recovery efforts across the globe get underway for June and July and volume increases (at the same time as summer peak season demand on reefer equipment), plan ahead and extend lead time expectations to accommodate your delivery timelines.    

We continue to innovate and provide tailored alternative solutions to ease your logistics challenges.  A few areas you can consider are: 

  • Container equipment alternatives: in areas where reefer units are in high demand, switch to dry containers fitted with insulation to avoid delays.   Expedite smaller consignments and temperature sensitive orders through groupage (consolidation) or air freight.  View sailing schedules here
  • Warehouse readiness: work with your provider facilities to confirm readiness and appointments to avoid additional detention / demurrage costs.  Where necessary engage in pre-pulls to offset potential demurrage costs if you warehouse cannot accommodate you.
  • CBMA eligibility on US imports: work with your overseas suppliers to take advantage of the the USA CBMA (Craft Beverage Modernization Act) tax savings in 2020.  Read more about it here.
  • Product disposal needs: if you have expired or unsaleable product read more about responsible product disposal management with the Ecobev process here
  • Distribution to multiple channels: cross-dock pallets directly to retail fulfillment centers
  • Last mile delivery (region-specific): expanded services include direct-to-consumer deliveries.


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