Coronavirus Logistics Update 2 (COVID-19)
This is further update on the continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus on logistics and supply chain services in China. Currently the rate of infections being reported has slowed down in China. However there are new cases being reported other countries around the world which did not have them before which indicates the virus still has not been full contained. The overall situation is still very fluid.
Within China transport links within provinces are gradually returning to normal, however there are still restrictions on trucks moving across province’s borders. Chinese authorities are giving permission to more manufactures to reopen factories and restart production, however some factories are still very cautious about opening as they are worried when workers start returning to the factory sites it may start off another outbreak of the virus and the factory being shutdown again. Additionally some workers are still reluctant to return from fear of getting infected creating a labour shortage in some regions and causing production output to be reduced.
It has been reported that to date the world’s biggest shipping line Maersk has cancelled 50 sailings from the China mainland to worldwide destinations. With ocean freight shipping suffering greatly with blank sailings and inability to get containers loaded, inter continental rail freight shipments from central and western china have seen a rapid increase in demand. The increased demand has resulted in a shortage of available capacity on most routes to Europe. Containers are now having to be stored awaiting the next available train with spare capacity. This is adding in some small delays of up to a week, however for most clients the time saving is still worth sending it on these routes. There has also been a subsequent increasing of rates to try and help manage demand.
As before if you are a shipper having issues with your goods leaving china and want to explore alternative routings or markets then you should get in contact with AJF and will see if our expertise in logistics and supply chain issues can assist you.