Friday, February 28, 2020

After 2 very challenging weeks we have been working closely with our Agent network in mainland China and Hong Kong as commercial activity begins again. Our focus moves towards air and sea solutions for our clients who have experienced supply chain disruption through the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.

Today's update is detailed below:

  • Our Chinese Freight Partners have all now resumed normal operations, and our team continues to be safe and healthy. As a precaution we will maintain the two shifts approach through until March 2nd.
  • The team reports that between 60% and 80% of shippers and factories have resumed export activity, with a lack of labour persisting in the short term.
  • Chinese importers are back operating in the most part, with only 10% yet to reopen. We have seen bookings increase steadily since late last week.
  • Transport within China continues to be challenging as the previously advised limitations on movement between cities and provinces is maintained. The team tell us that transport bookings are being completed, albeit with 48 hour delays in most cases, making it important to arrange cartage ahead of time. Driver shortages are still being experienced which is compounding the travel restrictions for those that are working, which is in turn pushing up rates.
  • All Port Terminals are reported to be open, although delays and vessel omissions continue to be factor. Our team suggests that all shipping should be reviewed and where a significant inland road transport leg is involved, investigate barge and feeder vessel options via 2nd and 3rd tier ports closer to the shipper or importer.
  • Shipping Lines are still reluctant to accept Reefer container bookings as a shortage of power connections on Port, and the congestion detailed above, mean that cool chain risk is elevated.

Air freight

  • We are fielding increasing enquiries regarding Air freight options to and from China. At the time of writing there are very limited passenger flights into China until at least mid-March, while we are starting also to see a reduction in flights to other Asian destinations as passenger demand remains subdued.
  • However, our teams have put together air freight options for all the main import and export Chinese lanes we operate in, including New Zealand, Australia, The Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Other regions

  • We have seen increased levels of infection reported in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Italy. Our Agent Network in these markets expect the introduction of additional restrictions over the coming week. They advise our customers to proceed with caution if trading with these countries. We will continue to monitor the situation and include these regions in our updates if the situation changes.

In summary, while there are positive developments in parts of China, there remains considerable uncertainty, which has the potential to spread to other impacted countries. As shipment bookings start to increase, so does it become more important to talk to us as early as possible so that we can secure a solution for you.
Space is tight and rates will be higher than normal.

Our Agent Network across Australia, China and Hong Kong will continue to provide as much detail and guidance as we can throughout this period. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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