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Coronavirus: The global supply chain @ 30th March

Despite the coronavirus, we continue to uplift cargo across the global supply chain in China and the United States by sea and also air, for the most urgent shipments, though we are seeing a reduction in volumes and the postponement of some orders. Freight is still moving within Europe, including southern countries, though border delays are an issue.

We have implemented working practice changes, to maintain our operational effectiveness, preserve service levels and protect our staff.

The slowdown in China shipments is in contrast with the last few weeks and reflects the slowdown in demand during the UK’s lockdown.

More shippers are holding orders at our origin freight centres, seeking to delay them with longer transit times, or using our UK storage facilities to divert cargo away from their DC’s.

More shippers are holding orders at our origin freight centres, seeking to delay them with longer transit times, or using our UK storage facilities to divert cargo away from their DC’s.

Intra-EU freight is still moving, even from the southern countries most affected by coronavirus, but border delays are increasing and the threat of quarantine is deterring some drivers from embarking on long distance international routes.

To resolve these delays the EU Commission has urged member states to create fast lanes for trucks carrying all types of goods. Going through these ‘green lane’ border crossings, including any checks and health screening of transport workers, should not exceed 15 minutes on internal land borders,” the commission said.

The FTA has urged all EU member states to act upon the EU guidelines on green lanes for goods at borders, but there is no indication when, or if, the ‘green lane’ border crossings will be implemented by member states.

Russia has announced the suspension of all international flights and South Africa will go on a nationwide lock-down until the 17th April 2020.

Spot air freight rates continue their rapid ascent, with rates from Shanghai to Europe increasing by 28% on a week earlier and up 21% from Hong Kong, an increase of 32% from last year.

Transatlantic air freight rates also increased rapidly following the US ban on travellers from many countries in Europe, with prices from mainland Europe to North America jumping by 56% in a week and an 87.6% increase for the outbound route.

The increases come as carriers have been slashing bellyhold capacity on the transatlantic, estimated to be down by 90%.

There are capacity constraints on many key markets in the global supply chain, including Asia-Europe, Europe-Asia, transatlantic, Intra-Asia, transpacific and the Middle East.

All UK container terminals are operating normally, subject to new working practices, the Indian ports of Mundra, Tuna and Dhamra declared force majeure, which means the port(s) will not be responsible for any claims, damages, charges, without any limitation, including vessel demurrages, delays or disturbance in port services.

Analysts believe that the container shipping lines will see a 10% reduction in volumes this year if economies fall into recession due to the containment measures being taken.