Easter Blanked Sailings, Shelter-In-Place Orders And Business Continuity

Mar 20, 2020

Every day, TOC holds a status call with our account managers, planners and partners in Europe to share what changes in conditions have taken place in the preceding 24 hours. This is insightful for all of us because as we rely on our team of subject matter experts who each have a piece of our customers’ overall supply chains from beginning to end, it is critical we have the most current information with which to make decisions.

TOC is continuing to operate on a remote work force with a small, core team coming into our physical offices while remaining staff who are able to function remotely are doing so with overall success. It’s an adaptation for people who were either not remote or part-time remote, but something we’re all learning to cope with together.


Post-Easter blanked sailings.

On our call today, we discussed the fact that long-planned blanked post-Easter sailings will impact ocean freight lift from Europe to the United States. We have been working with clients who are open in Europe to arrange earlier pickups than their scheduled consolidation dates, but are concerned that if there are overbookings and rolled containers prior to Easter, there may be a lag in getting them on the water.

Know that we are working diligently to protect our customers’ space and cargo.


Ad hoc air freight by charter and passenger operator.

As travel restrictions imposed by the US, Canada and the EU have reduced by 75% or more the passenger belly cargo space on the transatlantic, we have seen that nature abhors a vacuum and solutions are rapidly appearing.

In addition to regularly scheduled freighter service that remains from companies like Lufthansa, Emirates, AirBridge and others, US passenger airlines like American, Delta and United are either offering charters or running cargo-only flights between points. These flights aren’t tied to passenger demand, but rather cargo demand, and are operating on unconventional point pairs to meet the needs of cargo.


Logistics companies protected as critical infrastructure by DHS.

In the past 24 hours, California, Nevada, Illinois and New York have announced either shelter-in-place or stay-at-home emergency actions meant to reduce the spread and transmission of COVID-19. Other states are placing curbs on the number of people permitted to gather in a single location.

As these restrictions have come into effect, we have had a number of questions about whether or not ports, truckers, airports and other businesses can remain open.

TOC, and other logistics companies, are part of the “Transportation Systems Sector,” one of sixteen designated “Critical Infrastructure Sectors” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

From the DHS website:

The Transportation Systems Sector consists of seven key subsectors, or modes:

  • Aviation includes aircraft, air traffic control systems, and about 19,700 airports, heliports, and landing strips. Approximately 500 provide commercial aviation services at civil and joint-use military airports, heliports, and sea plane bases.  In addition, the aviation mode includes commercial and recreational aircraft (manned and unmanned) and a wide-variety of support services, such as aircraft repair stations, fueling facilities, navigation aids, and flight schools.
  • Highway and Motor Carrier encompasses more than 4 million miles of roadway, more than 600,000 bridges, and more than 350 tunnels. Vehicles include trucks, including those carrying hazardous materials; other commercial vehicles, including commercial motorcoaches and school buses; vehicle and driver licensing systems; traffic management systems; and cyber systems used for operational management.
  • Maritime Transportation System consists of about 95,000 miles of coastline, 361 ports, more than 25,000 miles of waterways, and intermodal landside connections that allow the various modes of transportation to move people and goods to, from, and on the water.
  • Mass Transit and Passenger Rail includes terminals, operational systems, and supporting infrastructure for passenger services by transit buses, trolleybuses, monorail, heavy rail—also known as subways or metros—light rail, passenger rail, and vanpool/rideshare. Public transportation and passenger rail operations provided an estimated 10.8 billion passenger trips in 2014.
  • Pipeline Systems consist of more than 2.5 million miles of pipelines spanning the country and carrying nearly all of the nation’s natural gas and about 65 percent of hazardous liquids, as well as various chemicals. Above-ground assets, such as compressor stations and pumping stations, are also included.
  • Freight Rail consists of seven major carriers, hundreds of smaller railroads, over 138,000 miles of active railroad, over 1.33 million freight cars, and approximately 20,000 locomotives. An estimated 12,000 trains operate daily. The Department of Defense has designated 30,000 miles of track and structure as critical to mobilization and resupply of U.S. forces.
  • Postal and Shipping moves about 720 million letters and packages each day and includes large integrated carriers, regional and local courier services, mail services, mail management firms, and chartered and delivery services.

TOC will continue to operate on behalf of our clients and vendors and in concert with our global partners to keep the cargo moving while encouraging the world to #flattenthecurve.


Our capable and experienced team is standing by to assist organizations and supply chains across the globe. Click the button to get in touch with our team.

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