Despite the countless headlines regarding increased governmental restrictions on activity around the world, in their recent weekly update US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has relayed that business is for the most part, status quo at ports around the US. It should come as no surprise that cargo volumes are decreasing due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and significant increase in both airline cancellations and ocean blank sailings, but so far there have been no significant delays in terms of cargo clearance or release.
CBP does expect a reduction in hours at certain ports due to limited activity, with ocean cargo seeing a 25-30% decrease in volumes (YoY). Air volume has seen an increase (YoY), most likely due to the urgent movement of medical cargo and supplies to aid in the battle against COVID-19. Additionally, CBP has announced a new resource for all parties to utilize during the COVID-19 situation that contains the latest operational notices and updates issued by the organization.
In terms of regulatory matters, CBP is seeking to exercise the utmost discretion when it comes to “operational flexibility” and is working closely with other PGAs to understand all current issues. They will work closely together to review the issues based on feasibility and impact and inform the trade community what options may be available.
As always, should you have any questions regarding CBP policies or procedures, please feel free to reach out to me directly.