As the industry continues to respond to the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, we wanted to take the opportunity to reassure you that we are keeping our finger on the pulse of what's happening and finding viable alternative solutions for customers.
The virus has had a ripple effect on various aspects of supply chains, including causing equipment shortages, a reduction in port workers due to a lower number of shipments, and the usual blank sailings than can happen in any season. Many ports are reducing gate hours or cutting shifts due to the decrease in vessel and cargo activity from China. However, we can see a rebound is slowly beginning, as we are starting to see vessels arrive that were loading in China at the height of the outbreak. Airfreight capacity is available but at reduced levels and subject to ad-hoc changes by the carriers. Be prepared for backlogs to build as factories get back to full production. A detailed ocean market update can be read here.
There are some country-specific disruptions taking place that customers should be mindful of:
In Italy, some carriers are scaling back flight schedules; however, our teams are using creative routings to get shipments in and out. We will plan to transship through other major EU hubs as cost and transit times allow for customer needs. Our network offices in Italy are working at full-speed.
In Japan, the government has asked its citizens to stay at home as much possible and limit outside activities, especially those where large crowds might be gathered. Our team is allowing for flexible work schedules for EMO personnel, and operations are normal at this time. Due to significant passenger flight cancellations, air cargo space is very tight.
In Vietnam, there have been some flight cancellations and capacity constraints, but our team is using creative routings to address customer needs.
In Korea, our offices are working at full staff and factories/manufacturers are operating at normal levels. Due to lower passenger demand major carriers have announced they will reduce the number of flights from 7x daily to 3x daily, so anticipate space challenges. Ocean carriers have implemented blank sailings which will also affect shipping schedules.
Overall, we are monitoring the impact of surging volumes in the aftermath of the virus in China and finding solutions via non-traditional routings to keep cargo moving.
Our internal operations staff are abreast of the current market and can assist for specific information on your shipments. Your local EMO Trans office is the best source of information and can give more exact details on your shipment activity.
For real-time updates on the status of the virus, please see the CDC's page for the latest information.
We will continue to keep you informed and updated as we receive new information.