“Force Majeure”: Diverted cargo stuck in the port of Virginia

Due to Hurricane Sandy, some containers have been rerouted to Virginia cargo terminals  from the port of New York and New Jersey. Approximately 6000 containers were sent to Norfolk International Terminals and APM Terminals Virginia in Portsmouth.

The digital magazine Cargo Business News reported this week that only around 1,400 containers have since been returned to NY/NJ.

Rodney W. Oliver,  Virgina Ports Authority(VPA) interim Executive Director , reported that they doing their best to send the remaining cargo to its destination by all means   available: truck, rail and barge.

The VPA officials were planning to return most of the cargo by truck,  however  that’s problematic due to a federal limit on drivers’ time behind the wheel and a scarcity of chassis, according to Edward F. O’Callaghan, president of the Tidewater Motor Truck Association.

This week  port officials stated that most of the containers would be returned via train. It could be early December before all the rerouted cargo is shipped back.

Maersk, APL, and other carriers have invoked the “force majeure” contract provision, which relates to events beyond the control of the parties. Now it is up to the individual companies to figure out how to get their merchandise to its intended destination.

We will report further updates once available .