20 Mar CORORNAVIRUS- COVID 19 COUNTRY BY COUNTRY UPDATES
USA: Cargo is still able to move within the USA with very little disruption. Airports and seaports are open and operating but COVID 19 response and checking the health of individuals causes delays. Air cargo passenger flight options to much of the world for export are very limited. All cargo space on aircraft is slowly increasing as airlines shift service from passenger to all cargo in some cases. Ocean containers are in short supply in certain parts of the country. Ocean export bookings for FCL are sometimes booking 4 weeks out or further. For import into the USA airfreight is coming in on cargo only aircraft almost exclusively as travel bans to the USA from Europe, China and other parts of Asia have seen a massive decrease in passenger flights to the USA. Certain states such as California, Washington state and New York are on partial or full lockdown. Cargo can still move, but check points create significant delays and only “essential” workers are allowed to move about. The U.S. Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association has been lobbying in Washington D.C. to obtain “essential status” for freight forwarding and Customs Broker businesses.
China: All cargo services such as air, sea, truck, rail, courier are coming back on line and the market is returning to normal. It is not normal yet as a large back-log of cargo continues in China. Air exports from China to the USA are cargo planes only because of the USA ban on persons from China travelling to the USA. Cargo services within Asia and to/from China are normalizing some, but some countries are still not allowing passenger flights to/from China and their own countries. Chinese factories are back on line and running anywhere from 50% normal to normal in some cases.
Latin America (Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador)- These countries are prohibiting passenger flights into their countries until at least the end of March….therefore passenger flights departing those countries will not happen. Must be all cargo service for air. Ocean services are running but typical port and trucking delays due to reduced work staff.
- International Flights will not be permitted to land in India from 22nd March for a period of One Week.
- Senior Citizens over the age of 65 yrs & Children below 10 yrs required to stay at home.
- State of Maharashtra where Mumbai the commercial Capital is located has declared all offices will be closed till 31/3.
- Delhi National Capital Territory will also be partially closed down.
- Sunday 22/3 will be treated as “Janta Curfew” day where the Hon PM has requested all citizens to stay indoors from 7 AM to 9 PM as a means of social distancing.
- Many companies will implement Work from Home for its employees effective 23rd March – Monday.
Europe: Various countries have various levels of disruption. The worst are Italy, France and Spain. EU Borders have closed so there are checkpoints at every border between countries like there were before the EU had formed. In order to cross from one European country to the next you must pass through the border, state your business and submit to a COVID -19 low tech test such as temporal fever test etc… some countries only want drivers from their nationality in and out of the country. Some border wait times are very long such as 60 hours wait at the Germany/Poland border. Air and ocean cargo can still move into, throughout and out of Europe but like everywhere else air freight is relegated to cargo only planes and ocean ports are closing a few days a week due to low volumes.
Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia (non-China): Japan and Korea hit the hardest with COVID-19 cases. All Asian countries are taking a slightly different approach such as The Philippines not allowing ANY International flights at all into the country for 1 month. Cargo is moving into and out of Asia with many of the restrictions, higher prices and delays already mentioned.
Middle East: Strong response to shut down services and isolate cities such as Doha in Qatar. Cargo can move into and out of the Middle East but countries are limiting flights in (such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and there are very high prices and long delays.
Kindly find below the latest developments:
- Industrial Zone, starting from street 1 to street 32 shall be closed for a period of 2 weeks renewable, for the safety of the residents in the region.
- All shops and bank branches in malls and shopping centers shall be closed, excluding food outlets and pharmacies.
- Barber shops and beauty salons shall be closed, including their home services.
- Hotel health club activities shall be stopped until further notice.
- All Citizens coming to the State of Qatar from any destination in the world are quarantined immediately after their arrival for a period of 14 days.
- It is important for the people of Qatar to stay at home and not leave the house except for necessity, and maintaining social distancing whenever possible, especially with the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases. This is to ensure everyone’s safety and security.
- Social gatherings must be crucially avoided in the State of Qatar within the next two weeks. The role of individuals in spreading awareness and canceling public occasions is in the best interest of the public.
However the custom clearance process of cargoes are normal.
We shall keep you posted on the further developments.
Africa: Lowest number of official cases from a continent perspective. South Africa hardest hit. Cargo in and out is moving but ocean freight options are better than airfreight.
Australia/NZ: Relatively low number of cases, but authorities in both countries instituting home stay to get ahead of the situation. Cargo is moving into and out of these countries and, due to their distance, there are limited carriers for air and ocean that operate in these lanes from/to the USA anyway. So, impact is actually a little less for cargo because much of the service to/from these lanes is cargo only for air and regular ocean freight service. Australia in particular does a robust business with China and that has all but stopped over the last 3 months, but it is starting to move again.
No information available from Russia, North Korea Iran, Syria. Africa situation is believe to be under-reported.
Some airlines are taking passenger aircraft and flying them for cargo only in some routes leaving all of the seats up top empty.
Airfreight rates are up anywhere from 30%-300% depending on the lane/route.
All rates for air and ocean are rates of the day. No rates are held or guaranteed longer than 1 day.
Some charter aircraft options have opened up. LRI with a European partner have charter air cargo space available between South Carolina USA and Germany with trucking options throughout Europe.
LRI can move cargo from anywhere in the USA to the South Carolina loading warehouse for this charter option.
LRI staff can all work remotely. We are committed to our customer’s and partners and providing services from our offices or home office with as little change/disruption as possible. LRI warehouses in the USA and Canada remain open for cargo receipt, storage and shipping but with proper social distancing and disinfecting.
Some ports in the USA are closing 2-3 days per week because of low cargo volume.
Empty ocean containers can be hard to find to satisfy bookings in some areas of the USA but usually with 2-3 weeks lead time the bookings can be secured.
Expect all cargo service outbound, and inbound to be delayed and prices to continue to rise.