SINGAPORE -- Shippers in Asia should expect delays for air and ocean shipments to the U.S. in the wake of super-storm Sandy, which devastated parts of eastern U.S., including New York and New Jersey on Monday.
Airlines across Asia have canceled flights into the northeastern U.S., and integrators warned that delays should be expected on expedited deliveries.
Paul Tsui, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics, said supply chain delays could drag out for a number of days. “Most carriers canceled their flights yesterday (Monday), and weather conditions today will determine flight departures today,” he said. “I think there will be some delays due to backlogs at JFK, and everyone has to monitor very carefully their shipments, particularly those that are time sensitive.”
Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have canceled flights to and from JFK scheduled to depart Tuesday and Wednesday due to the closure of JFK airport.
DHL has delayed one trans-Atlantic flight into JFK airport that will lead to an expected delay of one day for some shipments into and out of New York City and surrounding areas. Deliveries and pickups are expected to resume on Wednesday.
“We cannot operate into New York while airports are closed, so any shipments from Asia-Pacific will be held in Cincinnati until they can be transferred and we resume service,” a DHL spokesman said. “We are also reviewing contingency options for a small number of airports that are closed in the Bahamas region, and are monitoring the situation closely with regard to other cities in the affected area.”
Maersk Line said it had directed its vessels to the open seas, where it was safer to weather Sandy in line with U.S. Coast Guard advice.
“We expect the terminals in the New York area and in Virginia to remain closed/impacted by Sandy for a couple of days,” the carrier said in a statement. “This will cause disruptions to Maersk Line's operations in North America.”
CMA CGM's offices in New Jersey are closed until further notice, but the French carrier's U.S. headquarters are open in Norfolk, Va., a spokesman said. Some vessels are waiting outside the port and will berth as soon as soon as the terminals reopen. Others have reduced speed on the way to New York in order to arrive when conditions are safe and terminals ready, he said.
"At this stage, no vessel has deviated to another port, and customers will be able to take delivery of their cargo once discharged" in New York-New Jersey, the spokesman said.
FedEx said shippers moving cargo and parcels into impacted areas should contact recipients to verify if they can accept deliveries. “If not, FedEx has ‘Hold at Location’ services that allow recipients to pick up shipments at a location near them,” the company told The Journal of Commerce. “Meanwhile, please note that the Money Back Guarantee does not apply to delays of this nature that are beyond the control of FedEx Express.”
UPS also confirmed that its package guarantee did not apply when transportation networks were disrupted. It said pickups and deliveries were disrupted in part or all of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
For continuing coverage of the storm and its aftermath, see the JOC's Hurricane Sandy special topic page.
Contact Mike King at Michael@borderline.eu.com.