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The US Midwest has been gripped by a polar vortex which is expected to last through to the end of the week. The Arctic blast will bring with it record breaking low temperatures, expected to drop below -30C across the Midwest.

Many states have already declared a state of emergency and those that haven’t are expected to follow suit. Residents are being advised not to leave their homes, to ensure that they have a proper amount of propane, wood pellets and/or firewood to last during this cold outbreak and to look out for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. 

In preparation of this cold spell, many businesses in the affected area have advised that they will be closed until at least Thursday. Due to the life-threatening conditions, truckers, rail terminals and warehouses across Chicago and surrounding areas will be non-operational, meaning any scheduled collections or deliveries over the coming days will likely not be fulfilled.

As a result, Woodland Group Office in Chicago is expected to be closed on Wednesday, 30th January, with skeleton staff operating remotely during this time.  

Woodland will continually monitor the situation and ensure that we minimise the impact as much as possible. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Woodland representative.

For more information on the US polar vortex, see below links:


The ports of LA and NY are seeing extreme congestion, leaving drivers idled at the drop off and pick up containers from terminals.

These delays are said to be a result of the influx of import volume due to peak season and Chinese New Year preparations. Recent severe weather in US Northeast, trucker shortage across the USA and the US government shutdown have also compounded the issues and helped to increase driver waiting time to unprecedented levels.   

The delays are piling even more pressure on already stretched truckers across the USA. Increasing delays in picking up and returning containers to the terminals are pushing up costs in the supply chain with truckers looking to recover waiting fees of between $75 and $120 per hour for drivers sitting idle at terminal queues. Likewise, carriers and terminals are charging between $100 and $250 per day for importer or exporters that are delayed in returning or picking up containers.   

The backlog could take weeks to clear in ports of LA/LGB but NY terminals are not open after-hours or on weekends (unlike LA/LGB), so the backlog in NY is expected to take longer.  

Woodland Group are continuing to work to reduce, minimise and avoid delays or additional costs to our customers. We will continue to keep you updated but should you have any questions, or require more information, please do not hesitate to contact your local Woodland representative.

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