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: September 17, 2020 10:00 AM EDT) 

Port / container railyard alerts:  

  • Weather alert US Atlantic: Hurricane Sally has weakened to a tropical depression but is still producing torrential rains over eastern Alabama and western and central Georgia.  Flooding could disrupt rail and transport networks accordingly.
  • Wildfire alert US West: wildfires continue throughout the western states in California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.  Please check with Hillebrand;s USA offices for any questions on for pickups and deliveries in these areas. 
  • Montreal, Canada: Terminals reopened following the signing of a 7 month agreement on 8/21/2020.  Residual congestion is still impacting containers at Montreal, Halifax and St John terminals as well as CN and CP rail networks. 
  • Chassis supply / peak season: import volume surges since July have resulted in heavy demand at port terminals and inland rail facilities for transport companies that do not supply their own.  This is notable at Los Angeles / Long Beach, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Cleveland. 


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.
  • 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. 
  • 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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