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Coronavirus update @ 6.2.20

With the continuing escalation of the Coronavirus pandemic, air shipments out of China are being significantly impacted, with airlines cancelling, reducing or suspending services. 2M have announced blank sailings, but ocean freight is nominally operating, subject to local port conditions and the availability of essential support services.

Chinese authorities have expanded extended CNY holidays (to 9th February) to a further 12 regions in the most affected Coronavirus areas while, in better news, 25 of the countries leading coastal and river ports have announced that they will waive storage charges for loaded containers during the extended holiday period from the 24th January to the 9th February.


  • Some 30 airlines have now stopped services to parts of China
  • Cargo flights appear to be relatively unaffected at present
  • Carriers are advising that they will not accept responsibility for additional charges incurred as a result of cargo arriving in China during the extended holiday period


  • No ocean freight bookings are being accepted to or from Wuhan
  • Bookings for other destinations are being taken as normal
  • 2M are cancelling an additional two China-North Europe sailings in February
  • Shipments currently heading to Wuhan are likely to be diverted to other ports
  • Freight rates and transit times are expected to be impacted for both inbound and outbound China shipments
  • Most shipping lines are offering extended detention and demurrage free time, generally until 9th February
  • Following the current drop in demand, carriers predict that eventual increase in demand will lead to capacity challenges
  • Shippers are advised to review forecasts and liaise with us to identify solutions
  • Carriers are implementing local solutions to maintain services, including home working and additional online functionality

We would urge customers to liaise with their suppliers in affected areas, to ensure that documentation is produced in a timely manner


  • Vessel loading and discharge (excl Wuhan) operating to varying effect
  • Local government directives apply for extended holidays and business opening
  • Force majeure declared due to reduced operations at Chinese ports

We are expecting that when manufacturing activities are resumed, there will be very significant spikes in demand for sea and air freight movements.

More ‘belly-hold’ reduction or additional blanking by shipping lines will reduce volume even further, increasing the likelihood of delays.

If you have consignments in China that you need move now, or in the coming months you should contact us immediately, so we can keep your supply chain moving.

This is an evolving situation that we are monitoring closely and will update our advice, as developments occur