Dear Valued Customer,

As you are probably aware by now, the current ILA labor contract expires at midnight on Saturday December 29, 2012. With a new contract not yet in place this means there is a potential for a coastal wide strike starting December 30, 2012. We have prepared the following to outline what you can expect from Maersk Line should we be faced with a disruption, and to communicate what facts we currently have related to ocean and landside operations.

ILA/USMX Negotiations:

All external updates and formal communication related to the negotiations is managed and coordinated for the terminal operators, carriers and port associations by the USMX. We advise all customers to continue to refer to for the most up-to-date notices on the negotiations.

Maersk Line Business Continuity:

As we’ve all recently learned during both Hurricane Sandy and the Disruption at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, situations that impact operations of complex ocean and landside networks require fluid and dynamic decision making. A multitude of factors influence these decisions – most of which are not known until a decision actually must be made. Maersk Line has an extensive business continuity plan and team in place to evaluate and make these decisions while ensuring you are well informed.

Our Business Continuity Team has been continuously evaluating the potential for an East/Gulf coast disruption throughout the course of this year. Therefore, we are prepared to respond in the event that a disruption occurs. With that, we would like to provide the following:

  • As recently experienced in LA/LB, in the event of a disruption customers should be advised that cargo will likely stop moving. When the terminals are not operational, vessel, rail, and truck operations stop.
  •  Therefore, the bulk of our contingency efforts are focused on the recovery phase with an intense focus on how to best deliver your cargo to final destination once the disruption ends.
  • We receive many requests asking if the West Coast, Canada, or Mexico are options for diverting ships. To provide clarity we would like to advise that the West Coast is not an option for vessels bound to the East/Gulf coast. Further, we have evaluated options for the diversion of cargo but at this time no decisions have been made. As stated above, these will be decisions made once we have a clear picture of the full scope of disruption.

What you can count on from us…

  • Our Business Continuity Team is meeting daily and will continue to do so leading up to the 29th of December. If a disruption occurs, we will increase the frequency of these meetings until recovery is complete.
  •  Additionally, we will issue a daily update (Client Advisory) to all clients and will continue to do so until recovery is complete. These updates will include information on all phases of our operations as well as updates from our terminal and rail partners.
  • Your best source of information will continue to be your Sales and/or Customer Service representative.
  • Last, we will post all updates to our North America Advisory Site at:

A few things you need to know:

  • All customers with IMPORT cargo arriving prior to the 29th of December are encouraged to pick-up cargo as soon as possible. Please also ensure the expedient return of your empty containers and chassis.
  •  All customers with EXPORT cargo moving to an US East/Gulf coast port should be aware that once the cargo is gated in and a disruption occurs the cargo will likely sit at the terminal until the disruption is over.
  • REEFER Customers with import/export cargo on terminal at the time of a disruption can expect that, to the best of our ability their cargo to be continually monitored throughout a disruption, as no customers will have access to picking up cargo. For REEFER customers with export cargo moving to an East/Gulf coast terminal CSX rail will stop accepting reefer cargo as of December 23, 2012.
  •  For cargo delivered to the terminal, gated–in, with knowledge of the strike will be at risk due to our limited ability to service this cargo. Shippers should be aware and consider this risk and exposure prior to cargo delivery.
  • If there is a disruption our ability to access equipment at the terminals will be limited. Therefore, please be advised that all Maersk Line bookings will continue to be accepted; however they will be subject to equipment availability.

Terminal Operations:

  • The Ports and Terminals are currently each individually sending advisories. Some have already announced extended gates. To get the most current update on specific terminal operations, including cargo acceptance and gate hours, we suggest referring to their specific websites.
  • To assist you in your planning we have compiled a list of terminal gate hours. You can access it by clicking here. Please note that this is the status as of 3:50PM ET December 20, 2012 and will not capture all announced extended gate hours.
  • Additionally, we have also compiled a list providing a full view to all terminals and the carriers they service. Please access that list by clicking here.

Vessel Operations:

  • At this time no changes, outside of already announced seasonal adjustments to our network, are being made to any sailings.
  • We are closely monitoring all vessel operations along the East/Gulf coast. To view a full list of services/sailings scheduled to arrive/depart between December 28 and January 5, please click here.

Rail Operations:

  • CSX: Containers with cut-offs prior to December 23, 2012 will most likely make it to terminal prior to December 29th. On December 23, 2013 CSX will no longer accept Hazardous or Reefer cargo. CSX has also advised that in the event of a disruption, acceptance of cargo would most likely cease after 4 days.
  • BNSF: Trains carrying US import cargo from Los Angeles to Houston will continue to operate as normal delivering cargo to Barbour’s Cut Terminal. If there is a disruption BNSF will route cargo to BNSF’s Pearland Houston ramp.  US export container from Los Angeles to Houston will be held in Los Angeles only if there is a disruption.  At this time US export cargo from Houston to Los Angeles should continue to return to Barbour’s Cut terminal.
  • If you have questions regarding Rail Operations please direct them to your Customer Service representative.


  • In the event of a disruption customers should be prepared to hold on to equipment (container and chassis) until the disruption ends (see demurrage/detention update below).
  • If you have questions regarding Equipment and Chassis please direct them to your Customer Service representative.

Demurrage/Detention/Per Diem:

  • Containers on terminal shall not accrue demurrage or detention charges if the container is still within free time when the disruption starts.
  • If the container is already accruing demurrage or detention at the time of the disruption these charges, as set forth in our tariff, will continue to be applied throughtout the length of the disruption.

Our business continuity team is well prepared to support all of our valued customers. We will continue to provide updates as we receive new/changed information. As always, thank you for your business.

Best Regards,
Maersk Line

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