Navigating the Francis Scott Key Bridge Fallout

Strategies for Shippers & Logistics Professionals Rerouting Cargo in the Mid-Atlantic

The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has disrupted supply chains in the Mid-Atlantic region, severing a vital link to the bustling Port of Baltimore.

In this article, our team of experts offers practical insights and tips for shippers dealing with the impact on international freight shipments and drayage operations. We also discuss the importance of selecting the right third-party logistics provider (3PL) to help navigate these challenges.

I have freight transiting through Baltimore – what is the first thing I should do?

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand how your cargo that normally transits through Baltimore is being routed. Which ports are you rerouting to? Are your shipments being directed to nearby ports such as New York / New Jersey or Norfolk? Will you need to transload your freight?

Remember: Even though your cargo may be destined for the Mid-Atlantic region, chassis will need to be returned to the port of entry and not the port of Baltimore (unless you have permission to return to an alternate port).

Keep track of your containers to ensure a smooth transition and timely delivery. Being proactive and staying informed can help you mitigate further disruptions or issues.

Make sure you understand your costs and keep track of them for any potential possible claims. Get everything in writing so you have proof and receipts in case any issues arise.


International Shipments – What should I expect to deal with?

As expected, carriers are starting to invoke Force Majeure, meaning they will discharge at alternate ports and not be responsible for associated costs.

Sailing schedules are being adjusted for vessels en route and those not yet departed, expect this will continue for some time.

Expect berthing delays at alternate ports, NY/NJ and Norfolk in particular.

Be prepared to adjust shipping documents and Customs Entries to accommodate alternate ports of arrival.


Trucking and Drayage Operations – What should I expect?

Truck capacity will tighten as traditionally short-haul lanes transition to longer-haul regional runs due to diversions reducing the number of hauled loads per truck per day.

Port/pier terminal and container depot congestion and wait time is expected to increase as diversions begin.

Reduced chassis availability is expected to impact congestion and capacity in these markets.

Communication to ocean carriers and chassis providers is encouraged to help mitigate potential charges and promote capacity fluidity as truckers move trucks from Baltimore to the diversion markets.


How do I quickly connect with a 3PL expert in the area?

Alternate ports of call will be coordinated with the steamship line or NVOCC.

You’ll need to understand revised arrival timing and gather details of the freight you’ll move through alternate locations.

Drayage costs, tolls, and timing will be different in alternate ports, understanding costs surrounding transload such as drayage will help with comparison.  A 3PL option offering integrated drayage may offer more competitive costs and will help provide a more seamless invoicing experience.

Asking within your network is a great place to start, the initial shipments will be urgent, and you’ll need a trusted partner, even if temporary.


What should I look for in a temporary 3PL?

Look for well-prepared subject matter experts who listen to your needs and are ready with solutions. Questions to ask potential partners:

  • Does the 3PL have a dedicated resource to support you, available when you need assistance?
  • Is the facility a match for your needs and are they familiar with the type of work you’ll need performed?
  • What, if any, certifications do you require and does the 3PL meet the necessary requirements?
  • What is needed to get started – a credit application, delivery orders, freight details, etc.?

Be prepared to discuss rates. You’ll need to understand not only the capabilities of the 3PL, but also the costs. Rates may look different across vendors, so it’s important to ask questions to confirm understanding.

A prepared 3PL should be ready with a quick onboarding process to help make the last-minute transition seamless – what does that process look like?

You may not have time to visit the facility initially – can a same-day video conference call be set for a virtual face-to-face with the team and a video tour of the facility?


I’ve selected my temporary 3PL solution, now what?

Your temporary 3PL should be ready to arrange transload and processing of your freight (as well as drayage, if included).

The team supporting your account should maintain clear communication and provide timely & accurate invoicing.


In Conclusion

As shippers and logistics professionals grapple with the fallout from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, the road ahead remains uncertain but not insurmountable. By leveraging practical strategies and seeking out reliable third-party logistics partners, businesses can successfully navigate the challenges of disrupted supply chains and rerouted cargo flows.


Contributors: Bob Leef, SVP Commercial at CPG; TJ Frye, SVP Operations at CPG; Martin Karczewski, VP 3PL Solutions at UWL; and Brian Noonan, SVP at World Distribution Services contributed to this article.


Dive Deeper

For more information and updates on the situation in Baltimore, dive deeper into these resources:

Transportation & Transloading Solutions

The loss of the Francis Scott Key Bridge will be a complex challenge, with freight needing to be rerouted locally and across the Eastern seaboard. If you need logistics support during this time, we are here to help.

World Shipping, Inc. - Vessel Operations - Great Lakes Vessel Agents - Canadian Vessel Agents

UWL celebrates their 10 year anniversary


CLEVELAND, OH (April 27, 2017) – The evolution of World Shipping, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, OH, reached another milestone as their ocean NVOCC, forwarding and airfreight subsidiary, UWL, Inc. celebrated its 10-year anniversary in the first quarter of 2017.

Responding to the global market shift in the shipping industry, World Shipping created United World Line, now UWL, Inc., to serve as its asset-based, worldwide 3PL division in 2007. UWL is a completely full service, one stop shop for any clients’ global shipping needs. The company offers air and ocean services through a large network of ocean carriers, airlines and distribution channels. UWL’s advantages are significant, with World Shipping’s 55+ years of international container handling experience and full integration with other World Group asset-based companies.

“This anniversary is a celebration of UWL’s success since its founding,” commented President Duncan Wright, “This is a company that grew from the passion and vision that thrives at World Shipping, and their ability to evolve with the changes occurring within the Great Lakes region and as customer’s global logistics needs grew.”

Over the past 10 years, UWL has continued to grow while maintaining its dedication to personalized customer service. “Our focus has always been on providing exceptional service, flexibility and solutions to our customers. We continue to stay agile and responsive to the constant changes in the international shipping sector,” Wright explained. “We believe in long-term partnerships, transparency and trust. Our close customer relationships allow us to deliver unique solutions combining our global logistics expertise, domestic warehouse and distribution platform with our customized technology platform.”

When asked why he feels UWL has seen tremendous growth, Wright says: “One of the greatest keys to our success is our people, and the genuine heart at World Shipping. We have always operated as a customer centric organization, with unparalleled service at the local level. This a culture we are also pushing out into our regional expansion across the USA and we continue to operate as one company, not as a company of fragmented pieces.” UWL’s unique ethos is a driving force and will sustain them for many years to come.

Innovation, client-centricity and a world-class team approach have defined the global 3PL NVOCC & freight forwarding company since its inception. The future for UWL is very bright, and the Cleveland-based company has seen tremendous growth over the last decade. UWL now has over 170 employees and continues to grow its team of supply chain professionals, working to stay one step ahead – WE’RE ON IT!

Success metrics include:

About UWL
UWL is a full service, asset-based global 3PL. We are fully licensed and bonded to provide freight forwarding, customs house brokerage, ocean freight (FCL, LCL), bulk liquid logistics, supply chain visibility, vessel chartering services and project cargo and airfreight internationally. We also provide road and rail freight, overweight cargo solutions, domestic truck brokerage (FTL/LTL), warehousing and distribution using our network of 8 owned and operated warehouses strategically located across the U.S. We use technology to tie these services together to provide worldwide, integrated solutions. UWL is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio with additional management offices across the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America.

UWL is a subsidiary of World Shipping Inc., an industry leader since 1960 with over 55 years of market experience dedicated to providing innovative cargo transportation and freight services while delivering the highest level of customer service available in the industry. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, The World Group of Companies include World Shipping, Inc., ContainerPort Group, UWL, World Distribution Services and Newport Tank Containers. The World Group provides seamless end-to-end solutions with maximum control of the supply chain.

Jenna Porostosky (UWL)
Tel: 440-895-8228

CPG Opens in Memphis

ContainerPort Group Expands Operations into Memphis, Tennessee

CLEVELAND, OH – March 30, 2017 – ContainerPort Group, Inc. (CPG) is pleased to announce the opening of its newest terminal location in Memphis, Tennessee.

CPG expands into Memphis with access to the world through its central location and world-class transportation infrastructure. It is an ideal area for CPG’s intermodal drayage, with strong rail and road presence. Memphis is one of only four U.S. cities to be served by five Class I railroads and holds the 4th largest inland port in the US.

The new terminal location is positioned near the BNSF, with easy access to all other Memphis area rail ramps and convenient to local interstates 240 and 55. The 2.5-acre terminal offers intermodal trucking services and includes a seasoned staff and growing fleet, providing customers the consistent, reliable service seen throughout CPG’s full network since its founding in 1971.

The address and contact information for CPG Memphis is:

ContainerPort Group, Inc.
4727 Pleasant Run Road
Memphis, TN 38118
(901) 563-6300
Terry Gummersheimer, Regional Director-Midwest

About ContainerPort Group:
ContainerPort Group, Inc. is a leading provider of services to the container shipping industry and is celebrating over 45 years of operation. CPG provides drayage services, full service depot operations (CY), warehousing and logistics to ocean carriers, railroads, shippers/receivers, and freight intermediaries with concentration on international cargoes. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, CPG operates facilities and terminals in 19 distinct geographic markets throughout the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Northeast and Southeast regions.

Jim Kramer, Senior Vice President-Commercial
(440) 895-8145

World Shipping, Inc. - Vessel Operations - Great Lakes Vessel Agents - Canadian Vessel Agents

Shipping Industry has Looming Weight Problem

“A new safety regulation from the International Maritime Organization requiring shippers to verify container weight is roiling exporters around the world,” the WSJ Logistics Report’s Loretta Chao writes. The shippers say the new requirements will add complexity to cargo handling and that getting containers accurately weighed at docks is too complicated to hold one party entirely responsible. But shippers may have no choice—carriers and port terminal operators say if shippers do not provide certified weight information by July 2016 when the rule kicks in, they will turn away containers at the gates or leave goods on shore. With wide variations in how container weight is set, misreported measures have led to accidents from toppling stacks of boxes to capsizing ships.

Source: Wall Street Journal

World Shipping, Inc. - Vessel Operations - Great Lakes Vessel Agents - Canadian Vessel Agents

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Rules Update

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Rules Become Effective July 1, 2016. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted new requirement under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention that require shippers to provide a verified weight for every packed container as a condition for vessel loading. These new industry requirements from Maritime Safety Committee become effective worldwide on July 1, 2016. The shipper (named on the carrier’s bill of lading) may use one of the two methods to determine the verified weight of the packed container:

  1. Method No. 1:The shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh the packed, sealed container.
  2. Method No. 2: The shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh each package stuffed in the container including the packing and securing material and adding those weights to the container’s tare weight marked on the door end of the container (Estimating the weight of the container’s contents is not permitted).

Under either Method 1 or Method 2, the weighing equipment used must meet the accuracy standards of the country where the equipment is used. Also under either method, the declaration of the verified weight must be signed and dated by the shipper or by its duly authorized representative and to provide to the carrier via either electronic interchange channels or a physical shipping document.

Source: World Shipping Council