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Coronavirus: Freight operations latest

In a potentially positive development, the latest Chinese government data showed the number of new coronavirus cases fell to the lowest level in three weeks, but the data “must be interpreted very cautiously”, according to the head of the World Health Organisation.

While airlines have been suspending flights to and from China, ports have continued operating, to some extent and shipping lines have largely held back from blanking sailings.

In a bid to reduce the virus spread, Chinese authorities announced CNY holiday extensions across the country, with the longest extensions for the areas hardest hit by the virus including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Xiamen and Qingdao.

This extension means that operations at the ports will be affected at least a week longer than those that had the shortest holiday extension.

Wuhan operations have been suspended until further notice and while other ports are operating, the possibility of further delays remains.

A limited number of factories have already returned, but we expect most will return from today and possibly even later, which means the capacity for deliveries from China factories will remain low during the remainder of February.

The shipping lines have already built several weeks of depressed volumes into their operations in February and March with blank sailings through February and early March and while massive disruption to schedules are not yet planned, that could change at any point.

With the growing potential for containers to be stranded at China ports, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has raised concerns that carriers may charge detention and demurrage fees for delayed boxes, out of the control of forwarders.

We are anticipating further blank sailings and reduced air capacity if the epidemic worsens and when factories finally start dispatching orders, after their extended closure, the demand for freight space is likely to see a spike demand leading to space shortage on air (especially) and sea.

CORONAVIRUS: PORT STATUS

Hong Kong
Operating as normal
No impact on PSP Logistics services

Shanghai
10th February: normal operation resumed
No impact on PSP Logistics services

Ningbo
10th February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings announced on the second week of February
No impact on PSP Logistics services

Qingdao
10th February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Tianjin
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailing announced by COSCO for 10th February

Dalian
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Fuzhou
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised

Xiamen
From 3rd February: normal operation resumed
Blank sailings to be advised
Blank sailing announced by COSCO/CMA for 2nd week in February

Trucking operations are continuing in most areas, with limited capacity, but operations are subject to substantial road closures in many regions.