By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor · April 3, 2020
To “maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors,” U.S. states and Canadian provinces have deliberately exempted maritime operators, freight railways, motor carriers, and logistics service providers, from the stay at home orders they are issuing in their efforts to slow the spread of COVID‐19.
According to the Senior Steering Committee of the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (“OCEMA”) these accommodations will greatly aid the ability to handle on‐going, essential traffic “at this time of crisis.””
OCEMA noted that it commends the states and provinces for recognizing the critical nature of the supply chain and implore them to continue to adopt exemptions to their stay at home orders to protect the transportation network.
“OCEMA’s members are actively working to make networks as resilient as possible and addressing challenges as they arise,” says Jeff Lawrence, OCEMA Executive Director. “We are also looking ahead. There are a number of issues that are important to system fluidity. A major concern is inland equipment velocity.”
He adds that the continuity of international container operations relies heavily on maintaining continuous flow of containers through the ports and inland facilities to avoid any single bottleneck which could have a broader impact on the port and rail network.
“If containers reaching their North American destination are not picked up from the port or rail facility, or if they are picked up and not emptied and returned, this could create such a bottleneck,” concludes Lawrence.
April 3, 2020