Coronavirus: The freight’s still moving…..for now

To try and restrict the virus’ spread, Chinese authorities have expanded their extended CNY holidays (to 9th February) to a further 12 regions (see full list at bottom) while, in some good news for shippers, 25 of the countries leading ports have announced that they will waive storage charges for loaded containers during the extended holidays period from the 24th January to the 9th February.

Despite the continuing spread of the virus, some freight is still moving into and out of China.

With the exception of Wuhan, all other ports in China remain open, though with varying levels of productivity and capability.

The Philippines is imposing quarantine orders on vessels coming from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. We are not aware of similar requirements anywhere else currently.

Russia borders remain open to rail freight, as announced restrictions to train services do not apply to cargo trains.

It is air freight that has been most adversely affected to date.HKG metro Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus has spread internationally many countries have restricted travel to China, with some taking more draconian actions. In response airlines have cancelled, reduced or suspended flights on certain routes to China, substantially reducing the availability of belly-hold space on many routes.

This reduction in space may be the most significant factor when the current situation diminishes, as shippers try to air freight cargo delayed by the extended CNY holidays.

It is also possible that the lines may announce more blanked sailings, adding to the >160K TEUs withdrawn in blank sailings ahead of CNY holiday.

In the weeks following Chinese New Year, we usually see higher freight rates and limited capacity. Any additional blanking will reduce volume even further, increasing the likelihood of rolled cargo, delays and prolonged freight rate inflation.

If you have consignments in China, that you need move, you should contact us immediately. It isn’t simple, but there are limited options to ship cargo, though these are likely to quickly decrease, if the situation persists.

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

Airlines who have cancelled, reduce or suspend flights on certain routes to China (@ 4th February 2020)

Cancel all Flights Reduce Flights Suspend Flights on Certain Routes
Air France Cathay Pacific Air Canada
Air India Philippines Airlines Air New Zealand
Air Seoul Singapore Airlines Etihad Airways
American Airlines Turkish Airways Hainan Airlines
British Airways UPS LOT Polish Airlines
Delta Airways Shanghai Airlines
El Al Israel Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Kenya Airways
Lion Air
(LH Cargo still operates)
Qantas Airways
Qatar Airways
Royal Air Maroc
All Russian Airlines
(except Aeroflot)
Turkmenistan Airlines
United Airlines
Vietnam Airlines
Virgin Atlantic

Further extension of Lunar New Year holidays to 9th February 2020 in China:

Beijing Municipality (BJS)
Shanghai Municipality (SHA)
Chongqing Municipality (CKG)
Tianjin Municipality (TSN)
Jiangsu Province (SZV, WUX)
Guangdong Province (CAN, SZX)
Fujian Province (XMN)
Jiangxi Province
Shandong Province (TAO)
Anhui Province
Zhejiang Province (NGB)
Liaoning Province (SHE)
Hubei Province (until 17 Feb)