Last Updated: June 9, 2020
Last Updated: June 9, 2020
As lockdown restrictions ease, some of the world’s most populous countries have reported worrisome new peaks in infection, including India, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Africa, U.S., South America, South Asia, and Afghanistan. China, which has seen a surge in visitors to newly reopened tourist spots, has also reported new cases, all of which were imported. In the U.S., growing frustrations with the stay-at-home orders has sparked a wave of protests across the county, with unmasked crowds demanding a reboot of the economy and an end to the stay-at-home orders.
1.1 Air Freight
Air freight rates are starting to fall as more capacity comes into the market and demand starts to wither, after weeks of rising at unprecedented levels. This should open up an opportunity for shipments that need to move quickly and can’t risk being rolled.
The FAA has approved cargo to ride in passenger seats, which adds up to roughly 30% more volumetric capacity. The exemption, which is in effect until the end of 2020, comes with several conditions, including a weight limit of 50 pounder per seat and 20 pounds per space underneath a seat. In April, the FAA approved the use of overhead bins, under-seat areas, and storage closets for lightweight cargo. The FAA has yet to rule on a separate petition for permissions to remove seats from passenger aircraft. Many airlines are now offering their passenger planes for cargo-only service to alleviate the capacity crunch, including Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Lufthansa, Qantas, Norwegian Air, Cathay Pacific, LATAM Airlines, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and Hong Kong Airlines. While much of the activity is in trans-Atlantic trade lane, some airlines are also dispatching cargo-only flights between North America and South America and Australia, and between Europe and Asia. Some carriers are putting cargo in the passenger compartment, secured by netting and other restraints, to maximize efficiency. A few airlines are now offering multi-party, less-than-full aircraft charters. The capacity shortage is so acute that the Airfreight Forwarders Association is urging airlines to consider scheduling freight-only flight operations – not just ad hoc charters – to ensure an adequate supply of affordable air transport for cargo owners.
Delta announced new daily cargo-only flights from Shanghai-to-Los Angeles and Shanghai-to-Atlanta via Seoul. United announced plans to operate more than 1,100 dedicated cargo flights in May; the new service will operate between its six U.S. hubs and 18 airports worldwide – from major cities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. American will provide an additional 140 weekly cargo-only flights to 15 cities in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Caribbean. Air Canada is increasing the number of scheduled cargo-only flights and will now include service to Auckland, Brussels, Seoul, Sidney and Zurich.
Updates by Region
U.S.: Delta Airlines will be cutting its network by 70% and grounding more than 600 aircraft as business evaporates. United Airlines plans to cut 60% of its planned flights in April, including 85% of its international flights. JetBlue plans to reduce capacity by 40% in April and May, with more cuts likely in June and July.
China: Escalating rates and capacity shortages out of China have led many shippers to try a hybrid approach that combines “sea-air” services. The service move freight from Asia by fast boat to Los Angeles, CA where it is put on a plane to Europe. While this can be an good option for some, experts caution that not all freight is suited for the hybrid mix because of tight delivery windows (average transit times are between 14 – 23 days) and more touch points, such as extra customs inspections, that increase the risk of delays.
South America: Chilean LATAM has cut services by 70%, Mexican Aeromexico by 40%, and Colombian Avianca by 30%.
Europe: Limited connections for air freight. Lufthansa has drastically reduced PAX flights (they will be operating approx. the same number of flights this whole week that they used to operate on a normal day between 6 a.m. and noon). Freight Forwarders are using charters, part charters, and hard block space capacities on freighter flights daily to ensure eastbound and westbound flows. Italy: Milan-Linate Airport has been closed since March 13.
Asia: Bangladesh: All airports are closed, and no goods are moving in or out of the country. India: Airlines have cancelled service to India due to labor shortages. No goods are moving in or out of the country.
Africa: Airlines are adjusting their PAX schedules with Rwanda after Rwandair suspended all flights for 30 days. South African Airlines will only fly to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Ethiopian has cancelled most of their connections.
COVID-19 Related Surcharges
Swissport has announced a new COVID-19 Emergency Support surcharge, which is applicable to all import cargo processed at their facilities; surcharges will not apply to export cargo.
1.2 Ocean Freight
As lockdown restrictions ease across the globe, cargo volumes on the Transpacific Eastbound trade lane are now surging, with big box and mid-size retailers driving the demand. Spot-rates for Week 21 soared as the aggressive blanks sailings resulted in a capacity crunch and container rollovers. Cargo rollovers are increasing, particularly to the U.S. West Coast, and load factors will remain strong as retail demand recovers and demand for space increases while capacity remains tight. Carriers are poised to increase spot-rates again on June 1. The outlook for July points to a return of full capacity.
Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence reported that 10-15% of capacity has been removed on the Asia-Europe tradelane for Q3, while 5-10% was axed on the transpacific to both west and east coasts of North America. This comes following blank sailings announcements from two of the three main alliances. 2M and THE Alliance announced plans to continue to blank their entire North Europe loops through September. THE Alliance also announced an additional 20 blank sailings on the Transpacific route and 24 on the Asia-Europe lane. It is expected that the Ocean Alliance partners (CMA CGM, Cosco, and Evergreen) will announce their blanking programs for Q3 next week.
Container lines have started to reinstate a small number of blanks sailings for late May, June, and July that had been cancelled in Q2, and it is expected that carriers will become more competitive on rates as volumes rebound. Container lines have announced additional blanked sailings for Q2 after social distancing and quarantines forced many cargo buyers in Europe and the U.S. to cancel orders. The number of blank sailings has increased to 435, which indicates a drop in demand equivalent to 7m TEU. Alan Murphy, CEO of Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence, believes the effect of the pandemic on buyers in Europe and the U.S. will have even greater consequences for container-shipping schedules than China’s lockdown in February, when more than 100 sailings were cancelled. As lead times for the service cancellations are substantially shorter than usual, shippers will need to get creative in rearranging their supply chains in the weeks ahead.
Rising bunker prices and carbon footprint concerns slow Cape routings. Carriers are diverting North Europe-Asia and U.S. East Coast-Asia backhaul voyages through the Cape of Good Hope to avoid fees imposed by the Suez Canal, despite discounts that began on May 1. However, shippers have complained about the longer transit time (5 – 10 additional days) and the additional carbon footprint generated from the extended journey, which adds some 3,000 to the voyage.
2M partners Maersk and MSC announced the suspension of the TA4/NEUTAL4 service until further notice. The service, which deploys five vessels, has a port rotation of Antwerp-Rotterdam-Bremerhaven-Liverpool-New York-Savannah-Port Everglades-Charleston
MSC has announced rotation changes to improve coverage of U.S. East Coast -South American trade. The service’s enhanced itinerary will add additional calls to New York, Norfolk, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades, Caucedo, Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Navegantes, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Suape, Caucedo, Freeport (Bahamas), New York. The ports of Philadelphia, Paranagua, Brazil and Cristobal, Panama will be added to the service. MSC will drop service to Port Everglades and Freeport, Bahamas, and Caucedo in the Dominican Republic will be cancelled.
COSCO and its Ocean Alliance partners will terminate the AAC3 service, effective April 2020. The AAC3 service covers a rotation of Lianyungang-Shanghai-Ningbo-Long Beach-Seattle and will result in a net reduction of Asia-West Coast capacity of 3.4%.
THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming and HMM) has announced plans to suspend the FE4 string for two months, from weeks 18 to 26. Hapag-Lloyd will reroute its cargo flows via FE3 and FE5, which is particularly bad news for the UK’s London Gateway port as neither service calls there.
The shipping slowdown has created headaches for retailers who never stopped selling products to homebound consumers, and those retailers are fighting for space, which in turn is leading to more rollovers.
IMO 2020 Fuel Surcharges
Plummeting fuel costs are expected to trigger cancellations of low-sulfur fuel charges as well as significant reductions in standard bunker surcharges as demand for freight dissipates. CMA CGM announced it was cancelling its low-sulfur surcharge, and Maersk acknowledged that it’s Environmental Fuel Fee would be zero from May 1.
The pandemic has spawned a worldwide box-repositioning challenge due to the enormous number of blanked sailings. Normally, containerships bring loaded containers on headhaul runs, boxes are emptied and then used for backhaul runs. The blanked sailings slashed the number of boxes arriving on headhaul routes and impaired the ability to return the empties. The equipment shortage is particularly acute at inland terminals. A shortfall of shipping containers means cargo can’t move.
Ports around the world have reported that hundreds of thousands of containers have been left stranded, and experts expect the trend to continue as lockdowns limit the ability of the ports to clear the landed boxes and the blank sailings leave export containers stuck on quays.
Stranded Crew Crisis – a Ticking Time Bomb
In a major step forward, Hong Kong will now allow unrestricted crew changes, Singapore will now allow crew changes when seafarer contracts have expired, and Fleet Management in India, China and the Philippines are allowing changeovers. But industry need to continue putting pressure on governments so that a new normal for crew changes can be established in key locations worldwide.
Thousands of international seafarers have been marooned on cargo ships, unable to go home at the end of their contracts due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The plight of the seafarers is a ticking time bomb for the global supply chain, as ship crew cannot be forced to keep working forever, and there are only two ways the impasse can end – either governments ease restrictions to allow crews to come ashore or ships will start to be removed from the fleet. The ocean shipping industry has been working aggressively to solve the issue, urging governments to designate seafarers as essential workers and allow them shore leave, and appeals have been made to the United Nations on the urgency of the crisis.
Impacts on Demurrage and Detention
Many retailers and manufacturers have abandoned their cargo at marine terminals as their warehouses are full or closed due to lockdowns/stay-at-home orders, creating congestion at many ports. Shippers are advised that ocean carriers and marine terminals will be aggressive in assessing demurrage and detention charges for containers which are not picked up within the free time period, and these charges can quickly accrue into hefty amounts in a relatively short period of time. In severe cases, ocean carriers may place liens on abandoned containers and sell the contents to recoup the amounts owed. If the amounts owed exceed the amounts collected from the sale, the importer would still be liable for the difference between the amount owed and the amount collected.
It is important for shippers to note that cargo insurance policies will not cover demurrage and detention charges for failure to pick up cargo at the port of destination due to lack of warehouse space or business closure due to lockdowns. In the event the abandoned goods are lost, policies also do not cover claims for loss of market.
Updates by Region
U.S.: Cargo handling continues at all U.S. ports and operations have not been interrupted. Volumes are expected to remain soft throughout the remainder of March as production ramps up in China. Port users are encouraged to check the websites of terminals for any changes in hours of operation. LA and Long Beach terminals have adjusted hours to disinfect between shifts, and gate operations will be idle from 4:45 pm to 7 pm until further notice.
Panama Canal: The Panama Canal has reduced their workforce as booking cancellations surged, from 10,000 down to 3,600. Vessels transiting the canal are required to report conditions onboard, including any illnesses and if crew changes occurred within 14 days of arrival at the port. Ships will be quarantined if any there are any confirmed or suspected cases onboard. The Panama Canal Authority has also issued draft restrictions for neo-panamaxes based on the present and predicted levels of Gatun Lake. Effective March 30, the maximum authorized draft to vessels transiting the neo-panamax locks is 45.5 feet Tropical Fresh Water (TWF). Recent rainfall in the Canal watershed has allowed the Panama Canal Authority to suspend the second advisory, which was scheduled to take effect on April 17. Vessels with drafts over the restricted TFW will be required to trim or off-load cargo in order to transit the canal. The Panama Canal Authority will continue to monitor the level of Gatun Lake in order to announce future draft adjustments.
Europe: Ports are operating despite difficult conditions. Trieste Port in Italy has announced that all operations and logistics “operate as normal with no limitations”.
Asia: Ocean carriers are working with skeleton work forces, so transmission of gate passes and release orders is very slow. Bangladesh: All ports are closed, and no goods are moving in or out of the country. India: Many ports have declared force majeure and vessels have been turned away. No goods are moving in or out of the country. The Philippines: The Port in Manila is reporting severe reefer congestion as haulage collections of import containers has been hampered by the citywide lockdown. The port also announced a lack of reefer plugs due to the congestion. The port’s two container terminal operators have sent letters urging carriers, forwarders and shippers to remove the empty containers immediately. In response, CMA CGM has imposed a $1,400 per reefer port congestion surcharge on shipments to both the Manila and Subic Bay ports. MSC announced it would be applying a ‘suspension of carriage’ clause and would have to unload reefer containers at other ports; MSC will be advising shippers and forwarders where they may collect their containers.
Australia: Maritime Safety Queensland has banned all commercial ships from entering ports in Queensland if the ship or any person onboard has been in any country other than Australia within the last 14 days. Southern ports have banned ships from the ports of Albany, Bunbury, and Esperance until 14 days have elapsed from the last port of call.
U.S.: DAT reports that ‘urgent restocking’ continues to boost truckload spot rates and loads. Parcel shippers are getting hit with more price hikes as FedEx and UPS announce new domestic surcharges, effective May 31 and June 8, which target large shippers.
China: While most of the trucking services have recovered, with the exception of Hubei Province, trucking capacity is less than adequate, and we are seeing trucking costs increase. This trend is expected to continue until operations return to normal.
Europe: Cross-border traffic between the EU member states is facing disruptions and slowdowns due to increased border control, sanitary measures and special arrangements (closure of certain border posts, detours, and driver shortages).
Asia: Lockdowns in Asia are impeding cargo flows across Asia, and we expect this situation to continue as additional countries implement similar measures. Stricter measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus are creating confusion over how to interpret the new regulations. The confusion has been particularly severe in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Pakistan. In Manila, finding enough truck capacity to clear the backlog is a challenge.
Capacity is getting tight between Europe and China. Shippers are advised to book early. Possible delays are anticipated on pre and post carriage by domestic trucking at European borders.
Austria: There are currently no rail connections to Italy, France, Spain, and Switzerland.
Europe: Sea-air services have been suspended or are charging outrageous rates as airlines continue to cancel flights.
Health and travel restrictions also apply to customs staff, resulting in possible delays in the processing of customs declarations, especially in regard to customs clearance of goods subject to prohibitions, movement restrictions and presentation of original documents.
Europe: Possible delays of customs declarations due to health and travel restrictions.
India: Customs has been shut down, except for essential goods.
1.7 Bans on Exporting Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Supplies
The European Union ended export controls on PPE on May 26 after concluding that supplies for medical and other workers is now adequate.
According to Professor Simon Evenett of the University of St. Gallen and the head of Global Trade Alert, 60 countries have introduced new export curbs on medical supplies and more are being added every day. Some of the countries include:
Meanwhile, Chinese officials have begun inspecting every shipment of N95 respirators, ventilators and other medical supplies for quality issues prior to export, which will likely delay the arrival of critical gear at hospitals around the world that are struggling to cope with the pandemic. As of April 1, Chinese medical product exporters must obtain a Certificate of Registration from the National Medical Products Administration before goods can be released for export. Certificates of Registration will only be issued to suppliers upon verification by the National Medical Products Administration that the products: 1) have been officially registered in China, and 2) meet the quality-control standards of the respective export destination. On April 10, China implemented a China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) certificate requirement which is mandatory for all PPE shipments. All medical equipment entering the U.S. must be certified by the FDA prior to export.
The Chinese government has banned Beijing-based Tus Data Asset and Shenzhen-based Aibaoda Technology from exporting medical supplies because they “distorted” the nation’s image by selling poor-quality products. Spain reported in March that they stopped using rapid COVID-19 test kits made by another Chinese company after discovering that they were not effective.
1.8 Heightened Risk of Fraud
Logistics and transport insurer TT Club has published new advice for shippers as the risk of fraud increases during the pandemic. TT Club has identified four main types of rising crime – mandate fraud, CEO fraud, cargo theft and procurement fraud – that operators should be aware of. “These are perfect circumstances for the fraudster, given that your ordinary business processes are disrupted and under strain,” it warned. “The exposures are arguably heightened further since the focus of the authorities naturally lies elsewhere – and reduced legitimate work may induce more to try their hand at fraudulent activity.” Click here to read more.
UK Border Force issued a warning to industry that it has identified trends showing criminals are exploiting the current situation, pushing fake medicines and PPE into supply chains. The agency said criminals were “specifically targeting the vulnerable and those at most risk during the COVID-19 crisis. These goods are not fit for purpose, offering little or no protection, and will cost lives if successfully imported into the UK.” The agency also warned that every country is facing similar challenges and urged shippers to be extra vigilant.
South America has seen particularly high airfreight rates. The market is beginning to balance again, and there are “pockets of availability” even though most airlines are booked through the end of July.
Residents are now allowed to leave their homes, up to 500 meters, for recreational activities. The Argentina government has declared a national health emergency, and imposed a total quarantine. Many businesses are working from home. All domestic flights are suspended and all commercial flight sales have been banned through September 1. Air Freight: Capacity will be constrained, and in some cases unavailable.
Rio de Janeiro has declared a state of emergency. Shopping centers have been ordered to close and restrictions have been placed on bars and restaurants. Schools are closed. Low cost carriers have suspended all international flights between March 23 and June 30. All ports are open and operational. Brazil has banned entry of any non-resident national.
Ontario and Quebec have ordered all non-essential businesses to close. Nova Scotia has gone into a state of emergency, and health officials there are urging citizens to stay home. Borders are closed to anyone who is not a citizen, permanent resident, or an American citizen. Anyone arriving in Canada must undergo a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival, with the exception of workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. Canadian citizens not currently in Canada are advised to return to Canada immediately. On Mach 18, the U.S. and Canada agreed to close their shared border to non-essential travel, but will allow goods to continue to flow between the two countries. Air Freight: Overseas flights have been restricted to just four airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. All passengers must be screened for symptoms of the virus prior to boarding. Domestic Freight: Truck drivers entering Canada from the U.S. are now required to wear face coverings. Rail Freight: Slight delays have been reported due to a backlog from the blockades/shutdown in February.
The country is in quarantine, and a curfew has been imposed, effective March 24. People over the age of 70 were told to remain indoors. Ports and airports remain operational.
All international flights have been suspended.
All flights from Europe have been suspended.
On May 8, El Salvador began a more restrictive lockdown; residents are only permitted to shop for groceries twice a week and all public transportation has been suspended. Citizens will not be allowed to travel between jurisdictions, unless they have a written document justifying their movement. The country has been in strict lockdown since March 23, and citizens have been under a strict curfew — only one person from each family is allowed to leave to procure essential goods. Those who did not comply with quarantine orders could be sent to contingency centers, where they would be required to quarantine for 30 days. Borders have been closed to all passengers. Freight is still being moved, but slowly.
The country is in lockdown. Restricted movement for basic needs.
A stay-at-home order has been issued. All borders have been closed.
President Obrador announced a plan for the “gradual” resumption of economic activities on May 13; beginning May 18, industries like construction, mining, and car and truck manufacture will be allowed to operate under certain health protocols. Other parts of the economy could reopen by June 1. On March 29, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a nationwide stay-at-home order. All non-essential activities in the public and private sectors are suspended, and many businesses are working from home. Social distancing protocols and movement restirctions have been put in place. All schools are closed. Grupo Modelo announced they are halting production of Corona, Modelo and Pacifico beers because the Mexican government has shuttered non-essential businesses.
Measures have been implemented which restrict the weekdays that citizens can go out by gender; women can leave their homes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and men can leave their homes on the alternate days, although no one is allowed outdoors on Sundays. The Panama Canal has reduced their workforce as booking cancellations surge, from 10,000 down to 3,600. Vessels transiting the canal are required to report conditions onboard, including any illnesses and any crew changes that have occurred within 14 days of arrival at the port. Ships will be quarantined if any there are any confirmed or suspected cases onboard. The Panama Canal Authority has also issued draft restrictions for neo-panamaxes based on the present and predicted levels of Gatun Lake. Effective March 30, the maximum authorized draft to vessels transiting the neo-panamax locks is 45.5 feet Tropical Fresh Water (TWF). Recent rainfall in the Canal watershed has allowed the Panama Canal Authority to suspend the second advisory, which was scheduled to take effect on April 17. Vessels with drafts over the restricted TFW will be required to trim or off-load cargo in order to transit the canal. The Panama Canal Authority will continue to monitor the level of Gatun Lake in order to announce future draft adjustments.
Measures have been implemented which restrict the weekdays that citizens can go out by gender; men can leave their homes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and women can leave their homes on the alternate days, although no one is allowed outdoors on Sundays. The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency, and the country is in lockdown. Residents are only allowed out for essentials, such as shopping and doctor’s visits. All international flights have been halted. Customs is working with a skeleton staff and will prioritize essential shipments of food and healthcare.
Trucking: Lockdowns in Asia are impeding cargo flows across the continent. Strict measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus, such as only allowing essential cargo, are creating confusion over how to interpret the new regulations. The confusion has been particularly severe in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. A major congestion hotspot has been the China-Vietnam border crossing between Pingxiang and Lang Son due to enhanced customs checks and screening of drivers, with some 2,000 trucks queuing to cross. Using rail to mitigate delays from tightened border controls is helping. S
Ocean Freight: We are also seeing some increase in container rollovers at ports in China as well as at transhipment hubs. In the Philippines, containers are piling up at the port of Manila, prompting ICTSI to plead with shippers to collect their cargo, and finding enough truck capacity to clear the backlog is a challenge.
On April 26, factories with export orders in Chattogram have restarted operations on a limited scale, in compliance with health protection rules. Bangladesh imposed a total lockdown of the country. Mass market restrictions and closures have been enforced, including Customs, airports, airlines, ports, shipping lines, ICDs, manufacturers and business offices. Water, rail, and air travel has been suspended and public transport on roadways has been banned. Logistics and freight forwarding businesses in Bangladesh have been devastated by the pandemic, which has led to a nosedive in transportation of goods by land, air, and ocean. Exporters are facing increasing numbers of cancelled orders. Air Freight: All regular cargo flights and special cargo flights will remain operational. The cargo village at Hazrat Shahjalala International Airport is reporting severe congestion due to slow delivery of goods and many importers not taking delivery of their goods. Ocean Freight: Bangladesh’s key seaport, Chittagong, is facing acute congestion in its yard as the lockdown restricts the flow of goods. As of March 30, some 40,469 teu of containers remain in the area, against its total capacity of some 49,000 teu. All foreign ships arriving Chattagram port will be quarantined for 16 days. The government has blocked shore passes for all vessel crews from abroad, and crew-changing has been suspended for an indefinite period. If crew change is unavoidable, a 14 days self-quarantine is required. If any crew member needs to go home for an emergency, they must first undergo a 14 day-isolation period. Domestic Freight: Trucks, covered vans and vehicles carrying medicine, fuel and perishable items will remain out of the purview of the lockdown. Rail Freight: The Bangladesh Railway Authority has also suspended all local, commuter and mail train services across the country until further notice. The government has doubled rail cargo capacity on the Chittagong-Dhaka-Chittagong route to ensure a smooth supply of essential goods from the port. Customs: Customs is only releasing essential commodities (such as food, pharmaceuticals, and PPE), due to a limited number of officials still working.
A countrywide stay-at-home order has been issued, effective April 1. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close.
International passenger flights resumed on June 8, with one flight a week from 37 approved cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu. The COVID-19 situation in China remains stable, and offices, except in Wuhan, are operating as usual. Factory production has not yet returned to normal output. Beijing announced on March 27, a temporary ban on all foreign visitors, including those with visas or residence permits due to the “rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world.” Furthermore, the Chinese government is limiting Chinese and foreign airlines to just 1 flight per week. While the city of Wuhan was officially reopened on April 8, many shops remain closed, with restaurants reopening only for delivery. Schools and entertainment venues remain closed, and many neighborhoods are still sealed off; only those with permission from their employers are able to go back to work. Air Freight: The demand for PPE cargo by air is almost to the end, and experts expect rates and capacity to stabilize. Shanghai Pudong International Airport has reported the “worst-ever” cargo backlog, due to the surge in export demand for face masks and other medical supplies. Some cargo planes are being forced to leave nearly empty, and many logistics companies are recommending ocean transportation as a faster option. China’s new export controls on face masks is adding to the woes, as all shipments must be individually inspected and verified by customs authorities to ensure they are not defective or fraudulent, and many bookings have been cancelled because export shipments are regularly failing customs inspections. Some airlines are demanding that customers procuring PPE from China have cargo ready at least four days before a flight, and many shipments are taking five to six days to get from the manufacturer’s dock onto a plane. While airports are up and running, except for Wuhan airport, many airlines have suspended passenger flights to/from China. Freighter carriers have also significantly reduced the number of flights, resulting in dramatically reduced capacity and air rate hikes. Ocean Freight: While Chinese ports, except in Hubei, are operational, we are seeing blank sailings continue and an increase in container rollovers has been reported at all ports as well as transhipment hubs. Capacity is limited. The ports in Hubei are slowly recovering, but are facing a lack of workers. Overseas ship crews are not allowed to entry into the country. While Chinese crew members who have sailed for more than 14 days at sea and are in good health condition are allowed to go ashore, Chinese crew with less than 14 days sailing period need to be quarantined for further observation. Domestic Trucking: Shanghai Pudong Airport has reported trucks have been stuck in queues for two to three days to drop off shipments due to a surge in global demand for face masks and other medical supplies. While most of the trucking services have recovered, with the exception of Hubei Province, trucking capacity is less than adequate, and we are seeing trucking costs increase. This trend is expected to continue until operations return to normal. Shippers are advised to pre-book in advance. Pre-declaration and pre-registration are required for Chongqing, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, and Suzhou. In some high-risk areas in Ningbo, a special permit is required. Land borders with Kyrgystan are closed, with no compulsory quarantine requirements for non-Chinese truckers, but business operations have been severely affected. Only Chinese citizens are allowed to cross the border with Tajikistan.
All border points have been closed, with the exception of Shenzhen Bay, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Airport. There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming in from China. All visa visitors are denied entry.
The Indian government has relaxed lockdown rules and is allowing more industries to reopen with limited staffing. Factories have opened at 30% staffing. On April 25 some small convenience stores and agricultural businesses were allowed to reopen, but states are imposing different guidelines around reopening. The entire country is under complete lockdown until April 14, 2020. All factories are closed, and there are literally no exports coming out of the county. Physical movement is not allowed, and a curfew has been imposed. The lockdown has paralyzed virtually all commerce in the country. While cargo movement is supposed to be exempt from the lockdown restrictions, we have received widespread reports of supply chain disruption across all modes of transports – air, ocean, and land. Air Freight: Airport operations are significantly impacted, with freighter movements impeded due to manpower restrictions; hardly any flights are coming into India due to cargo terminal congestion, especially at temperature-controlled facilities where shipments are not being accepted or permitted. There are numerous reports of cargo being abandoned amid the “chaos”, and the airports are reporting that their facilities are so “choked”, they can’t even offload boxes from the aircraft. Many airlines have cancelled even their freighter operations into India due to the acute shortage of staffing, and there is absolutely no cargo movement. Ocean Freight: Severe cargo congestion has been reported at key ports and container freight stations, as importers abandon their cargo amidst the lockdown, especially at Jawaharal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Mundra. As a result, CMA CGM, COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd , Maersk, and MSC have all reportedly omitted calls at Jawaharal Nehru Port Trust and Mundra Port. The 14-day quarantine on ships calling at India ports is also causing delays and additional costs, and many carriers have announced port congestion surcharges. Delays have been reported in new booking release, MBL release and import DO issuance. While India’s federal government has issued an order declaring the transportation of goods by water – including loading and unloading – an essential service, it has also permitted port authorities to declare force majeure. As port workers are restricted from venturing out of their homes, close to half a dozen ports including Krishnapatnam, Dhamra, Mundra, Tuna, Gopalpur, Karaikal and Gangavaram have declared force majeure and are currently turning away vessels. CFS’s: All CFS’s are closed. Port to CFS and CFS to port operations may resume on April 1. Domestic Trucking: $4.5m in goods have been abandoned on India’s roadsides as drivers and helpers run away due to the lack of food, money, clean toilets and proper sanitation, and the goods are at extreme risk of pilferage and damage. For the few trucks that are able to reach their destination, there are no helpers and other staff to unload the stocks. There is no movement of commercial vehicles. Despite the government’s assurances, thousands of trucks carrying food and cooking gas, among other goods and commodities, are reportedly stuck at sealed-off state borders. The Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) has estimated that some 500,000 drivers have been left stranded or have been prevented from crossing state-borders, with police reportedly detaining drivers amid confusion over what is considered an “essential” service. Drivers are not willing to risk carrying general cargo shipments to and from airports, and even after clearance, may are not willing to take cargo for delivery to urban areas. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of drivers have fled back to their villages to escape the virus, and drivers still on the roads are struggling to find food and supplies as most restaurants and businesses are closed. Customs: Import cargo is not being cleared due to the non-availability of customs authorities, with several locations indicating no officers available.
The country is slowly starting to ease restrictions. Residents of the Jakarta metropolitan area are prohibited from traveling to other cities. All domestic flights and train services have been suspended, and cars and minivans are being checked based upon license plates. Transportation of goods is permitted. Effective March 2, foreigners have been banned from entering the country. Air Freight: Most airlines have reduced or suspended flights in and out of the country. Ocean Freight: Most carriers are working with a skeleton staff.
Ban on travelers who have been in China, Iran or Italy 14 days prior to arrival.
On May 11, the majority of businesses in the country were allowed to reopen. Cafes and restaurants must practice social distancing protocols and maintain records of patrons. Schools and colleges will not reopen and sports will not resume. A Movement of Control Order (MCO) has been issued for the entire nation, with the exception of essential services, including cargo transportation. Only essential goods are allowed for import/export. For non-essential goods, shippers are required to get prior approval before shipping. Manufacturing facilities have been shut down and absolutely no production is allowed. Travel in and out of the country is banned. Foreigners have been banned from entering the country. Land borders have been closed with the exception of the transport of essential cargo. Most companies have instituted work from home policies. All airports and seaports are functional, but priority is given to essential goods. Air Freight: All international airports are functioning normally. Ocean Freight: MSC and YML are working from home, while others have half staff on duty. No crew changes are allowed, regardless of nationality at any Malaysian port. Domestic Trucking: Non-essential cargo from Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia is banned. Roadblocks have been set up at border crossings to ensure only essential goods are crossing; delays are expected. Failure to comply with the MCO will result in heavy fines, imprisonment or both. Customs: Half of the staff is on duty.
The country has shut down flights and train service with neighboring countries. Recent travelers are ordered to quarantine. The country claims to have zero cases of the Coronavirus.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease announced a Community Quarantine wherein domestic travel to/from Metro is suspended. Offices are closed and many people are working from home. Domestic cargo shipments are exempted from the restrictions. Executive Government offices will operate on a skeletal work schedule. Private companies are encouraged to implement flexible work arrangements. Public transportation has been completely shut down. Air Freight: Limited flights from March 20 – April 13. The Philippines is temporarily suspending the acceptance of air exports, import air breakbulk and customs brokerage services. Ocean Freight: The Port in Manila is reporting severe reefer congestion as haulage collections of import containers has been hampered by the city-wide lockdown. The port also announced a lack of reefer plugs due to the congestion. The port’s two container terminal operators have sent letters urging carriers, forwarders and shippers to remove the empty containers immediately. In response, CMA CGM has imposed a $1,400 per reefer port congestion surcharge on shipments to both the Manila and Subic Bay ports. MSC announced it would be applying a ‘suspension of carriage’ clause and would have to unload reefer containers at other ports; MSC will be advising shippers and forwarders where they may collect their containers. Domestic Trucking: Finding enough truck capacity to clear the backlog is a challenge. Customs: Customs in Manila is working with a skeleton staff. No staff in Cebu.
President Vladimir Putin announced that the nationwide lockdown was being eased, beginning on May 12, with construction and industry the first sectors to resume work, with the exception of Moscow, the worst hit city. Residents are required to wear gloves and masks in shops and when using public transport in Mosco. On March 30, residents were ordered to stay in their houses; those who break quarantine and infect others — or spread misinformation about the Coronavirus — will face up to five years in jail. Schools are closed and many people are working from home. Digital passes are required for anyone leaving their homes for essential work. All borders are closed and all international flights have been suspended. All foreigners are banned from entering the country until further notice, with the exception of cargo carriers. Air Freight: Main airports in Moscow are open, but with diminished service. Ocean Freight: All ports are operating, but capacity is tight and the ports have reported a lack of line equipment. Domestic Trucking: There is no guarantee on transit times and rates have increased.
The country is currently in the first phase of its reopening. Some businesses were allowed to reopen on June 2 with safe management measures. Households will be allowed to receive 2 visitors per day, but they must be the children or grandchildren of the resident. Home-based businesses, like hairdressers, were allowed to reopen on May 11, and some schools were allowed to reopen on May 19. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a nationwide lockdown, effective April 7, and the closure of all non-essential businesses. Essential services and key economic sectors will remain open. Citizens should only interact with their family members and work from home if possible. Gatherings are limited to 10 people or less. Bars, cinemas and all other entertainment outlets will be closed, effective March 26. Schools and religious services have been suspended. Entry of foreign nationals from Mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Korea, and Spain is prohibited. Residents returning from overseas are required to self-isolate at dedicated facilities. Air Freight: While passenger airline schedules have been reduced to some destinations, there is some availability on cargo planes and charters. Operations at Changi Airport Terminal 2 will be suspended for 18 months from May 1, 2020. Ocean Freight: Some carriers on skeleton staff. Sembcorp Marine has had to reduce its workforce from 20,000 to just 850 due to restrictions on foreign workers from leaving their dormitories in an effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The sharp reduction in its operational workforce has severely constrained yard activities, and significant delays have been reported. Keppel Shipyard has place 100 workers on a 14-day leave of absence after four COVID-19 cases were discovered among employees and customers, and operations are expected to be severely disrupted. Domestic Trucking: Cross border trucking may be affected due to the lockdown in Malaysia.
Seoul closed down more than 2,100 bars, nightclubs and discos after facing a setback this week after a new cluster of cases was detected in Seoul. Pres. Moon Jae-in said that the fight against Coronavirus is “not over until it’s over.” On April 16, the government relaxed restrictions, and many companies have ended or eased work from home policies, although many continue to apply flexible work hours and limit travel and face-to-face meetings. Social distancing policies are no longer in affect, and restaurants, bars, shopping malls, and parks have brimmed with visitors as life returns to normal. Schools, museums, concert venues, stadiums, and libraries are set to reopen in the coming weeks. Korea is on RED alert due the rapid spread of the virus. All ports and airport are operational. Air Freight: While airports are operational, many airlines have suspended operations to and from the country. As such, space is very tight, with a serious space backlog as flights to China has also been cancelled. Rates are increasing to the U.S. and Europe. Ocean Freight: Many shipping lines have blanked sailings. Shippers are advised to increase their lead times.
Entry of all foreign nationals has been banned, effective March 19.
The country is in Phase 3 of its reopening as of June 1. Retail shops and businesses have reopened with restrictions, and foreigners with work permits will be allowed on a case-by-case basis to enter the country after registration. On May 3 restaurants, markets, parks and sports venues, hairdressers, pet groomers, and dine-in areas at supermarkets will be allowed to reopen. Customers can now eat in restaurants, but tables are spaced out for social distancing. The government issued an Emergency Decree, effective March 22. A curfew has been imposed – people are barred from going outside from 10 pm – 4 am, with the exception of essential workers. Violators of curfew face up to two years in jail, a $1,200 fine, or both. All non-essential businesses have been asked to close. Large gatherings are likely to be cancelled or postponed. Most offices have implemented alternate working teams. Foreigners are banned from entering the country at all entry points, with the exception for shippers, drivers, pilots, and diplomats. Large gatherings are likely to be cancelled or postponed. Most offices have implemented alternate working teams. Air Freight: Many flights have been cancelled and air shipments are in crisis. Ocean Freight: MSC, YML, CMA, ONE, OOCL, Hapag Lloyd, and COSCO are working from home. Domestic Trucking: All borders, except the Malaysian border, have been closed, and only 4 crossing ports are open.
A countrywide stay-at-home order has been issued, effective April 1. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close. Entry for all foreign nationals has been prohibited. Air Freight: Some flights have been suspended, capacity is tight, and rates have increased. Ocean Freight: While no significant impacts have been reported, carriers have announced additional blanked sailings. Crew changes are not allowed.
Businesses in Tehran reopened on April 18, and shopping centers reopened on April 20 with limited hours. Restaurants, gyms, shrines, and mosque remain closed. Internal travel has been banned. Security forces will stop people from traveling between cities. Regulations will be tightened if people do not obey these regulations, warned President Hassan Rouhani.
On May 4, first-degree relatives (including the elderly) are allowed to reunite and groups of up to 20 can convene outside and pre-schools and kindergartens reopened. On May 7, gyms, malls, and markets were allowed to reopen. On April 26, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eased some restrictions, allowing some workers to return to work. Some stores have been reopened, but malls and markets remain closed. The country went into partial lockdown on March 19. Non-essential businesses have been closed. Residents are only allowed to go out for work and basic food shopping, and are only allowed within 100 m (330 ft) of the homes. Most people are working from home or on unpaid leave. On April 12, several Jerusalem neighborhoods with high infection rates were put into lockdown. Public transportation has been reduced to a quarter of its usual capacity. Air Freight: The airports are open, but most of the carriers have cancelled flights. Ocean Freight: Ports are open and functional. Ashdod and Haifa ports are operating with some delays due to low work force.
On May 10, industries and businesses were allowed to restart production. Beauty parlors, barbershops, dry cleaners, and other small businesses — as well as public transit and taxis — have been allowed to reopen, and citizens are now allowed to drive between 8 am and 6 pm. The country is in strict lockdown, and a curfew has been imposed, effective March 21. Restrictions on non-essential movement. People caught leaving their homes are subject to up to a year in prison. All passenger flights have been suspended. Land borders remain open. Air Freight: Capacity is tight as many airlines/freight services have suspended service. Ocean Freight: Port of Aqaba remains operational but delays are anticipated. Customs: Customs is operating at minimum capacity and clearance delays continue.
A 24-hour curfew has been imposed, effective May 10. The country went into a nationwide lockdown on March 13, and isolated the Mahboula and Jleeb al-Shuyoukh regions on April 6. Non-essential businesses have been closed, and restrictions have been placed on non-essential movement. A curfew has been imposed from 5 pm to 4 am, and for Ramadan, the curfew will be extended from 4 pm to 8 am. A ban on all international travelers has been imposed, and all passenger flights have been suspended. Air Freight: Freighter flights are still operating. Airports and ground handling facilities are operating, but with reduced working hours. Ocean Freight: Feeder vessels are operating normally, with the exception of vessels that have visited the countries most affected by the pandemic. Domestic Trucking: Borders are restricted to move only essential commodities, such as food and medical supplies. Authorities have recommended that other commodities be moved by ocean or air. Customs: Customs authorities are working curtailed hours.
Lockdown until March 29. All businesses are closed and residents have been asked to stay home. Some vendors are refusing new orders and delaying shipments to Lebanon – which relies heavily on imports – as the spread of the Coronavirus slows global food supply chains, and the timing couldn’t be more grim for the country already struggling after a financial crisis wiped out about half the value of currency and sent prices skyrocketing. The supply chain disruptions threaten to fuel more inflation as poverty levels rise. Air Freight: The airport has been closed and all flights have been suspended, including cargo. Ocean Freight: Operations are slow due to the pandemic. Operations related to oil and gas are severely impacted due to worker shortages.
Entry into the State of Qatar is restricted to Qatari nationals only. Shops in main commercial areas have been shut down. Inbound passenger flights have been suspended. Freighters and transit flights via Doha are exempted. Qatar Airlines has reduced flights by 75%. Air Freight: Capacity is tight and deliveries will be impacted. Ocean Freight: While there has been a severe impact on FCL shipments from North America, export shipments to the Far East and Northern Europe have not been impacted. Rates are increasing on a weekly basis. There is a major Reefer equipment shortage from France and northern European ports. Customs: Delays have been reported at Hamad International Airport due to additional screening procedures.
Prime Minister Imran Khan eased the nationwide lockdown on May 9 because the government can’t support millions of families that depend on daily wages, as more than 1,600 new cases and 24 deaths were reported. Shops, factories, and other businesses have been allowed to reopen. The Khuzestan county remains under lockdown after cases spiked. On April 20, shopping centers were allowed to reopen with limited hours. Restaurants, gyms, shrines and mosques remain closed. On April 14, some low-risk industries, such as constructions, agriculture, and e-commerce, were allowed to reopen. The country imposed a full lockdown on April 1, closing all non-essential businesses and restricting movement.
Saudi Arabia locked down its capital and two holy cities on March 25, the city of Jeddah on March 29, and all major cities on 6. All mosques, schools and restaurants have been closed, and Mecca and other hotspots are under a 24-hour lockdown. A nationwide curfew from 3 pm to 6 am has been imposed, and during Ramadan, the curfew will be from 9 am to 5 pm. All movement in and out of the cities of Riyadh, Mecca, Medina, and Qatif have been suspended. Air Freight: All international passenger flights to KSA have been suspended. Current air shipments in transit are likely to endure delays. Freighter services are limited and spot rates are at a premium. Ocean Freight: Shipping lines are increasing general rates and imposing equipment imbalance and Peak Season surcharges. Domestic Trucking: Border authorities have restricted movement to only essential commodities, such as food and medical supplies and are recommending that other commodities be moved via air or ocean. Customs: We are expecting delays in import and export clearance and local delivery due to reduced capacity of customs official at the ports of Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh.
The Turkish government has closed land borders with Greece and Bulgaria and has banned flights to and from 68 countries, including the European Union, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. Air Freight: Many airlines have completely shut down all international and domestic operations, including Turkish Airlines. Domestic Trucking: Over the last few days, huge queues of trucks have formed at the Bulgaria-Turkish border of Kapitan Andre.evo.
Effective May 11, businesses have been allowed to reopen at 30% capacity. Food stores in Dubai will be reopened ahead of Ramadan. Cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen on April 24 at 30% capacity. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both preparing to reopen malls with restrictions; both only allow malls to be at 30% capacity. Dubai has ordered a 24-hour curfew for 2 weeks, beginning April 5; residents are only allowed out for essential purposes with only one family member allowed to leave at a time. It is forbidden to leave for exercise or even walk dogs. A police permit is required for every trip outdoors. Essential businesses remain open. Government authorities have announced all passenger flights will be suspended on March 25. Cargo shipments are excluded from the ban. Air Freight: The ban will result in a huge reduction in capacity in this region. All contractual rates have been withdrawn and carriers are charging unpredictably high spot rates to all destinations. Ocean Freight: Major shipping lines continue to operate, although blank sailings have been reported. Rates have been impacted as GRI/equipment imbalance surcharges have been imposed on certain trade lanes. Shipping lines are only working on spot or FAK rates. Domestic Trucking: All land borders from UAE remain open from UAE to Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, but shippers should expect delays through customs. Drivers are being screened at all border crossings. Customs: Customs and relevant authorities are working normal hours to support cargo movement.