This is a follow-up post from our earlier notification regarding the extension of the Chinese New Year holidays.
Preventative measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus are being utilised with many companies in China choosing to have their staff work remotely from home.
Vessel and terminal operations in the Greater China Area continue to operate normally and custom houses are open. All ocean terminal depots also remain open and empty pick up and laden return services are operating. Many off-dock depots have resumed work, with the exceptions of Ningbo and Yantian. We understand that factories are working with limited capacity, trucking capacity may be limited and transport limitations are still being applied by some local governments as preventative measurements.
The feeling within the community is that any return to work and full capacity will be a slow build and the lower volumes of cargo moving may extend into early / mid March. Note that schools are not going back till the end of February.
Over the next month or two, we will see a knock on effect of MORE blank sailings being announced to counter balance the lack of demand. There will be limited space on vessels, catering for the needs of cargo that IS actually ready to move. If cargo is for instance ready to move from Qingdao where less occurrences of the virus have been reported, the volume of vessel calls will still be less frequent than usual because if a blank vessel is announced, it is pulled from service loops completely.
It is expected that when China becomes fully operational in 6-8 weeks time there will be a backlog of containers to ship.
The situation in China is an evolving one – with different areas in China are operating under separate government authorities each shipment needs to be handled case-by-case.
For the latest figures on the Coronavirus COVID-19 head here.
Please contact our Import Team for any future bookings.