Coronovirus Causing a Crisis with Reefer Shipments

The Coronovirus is continuing to have an impact supply chains involving China. This is being particularly felt on reefer shipments. Many shipping lines  have issued warnings to shippers exporting to China that there is a severe lack of space for reefers in certain ports. The inability to be able to move containers off quay to distribution centres and factories  is causing a major headache for ocean freight forwarders and shippers of temperature controlled products.

Safmarine is the latest shipping line after CMA-CGM and the ONE Shipping Line who have now had to issue a notice that they need make a surcharge on reefers to ports of Shanghai, Xingang and Ningbo due to the complete. Safmarine are adding 1000USD per container to all bookings from 28th February. The issue is so critical now that the shipping line is offering to divert reefer boxes destined to these ports free of charge to other Chinese port, which is very rare for any shipping line to do. Shippers who are making new bookings for these ports need to be aware the shipping lines no longer guarantee the cargo routings,  nor will they accept any responsibility for the delivery time of the containers. Containers may be diverted to other ports at the discretion of the shipping line if there is no space available at the destination port.

There are some reports of shipping lines declaring general force majeure on all reefer traffic destined for these ports. They are going have them offloaded at other Chinese ports. It will be the responsible of the freight paying party to arrange them to be moved to the final destination. All shippers should be aware of the potential costs both in monetary and time future shipments may incur. It is recommend they constantly keep on top of this developing situation as it may continue to get worse, as the ports cargo is being diverted to begin to fill up.