Last Updated: March 27, 2020
Last Updated: March 27, 2020
1.1 Air Freight
Air cargo capacity is expected to be drastically reduced over the coming weeks as airlines adjust operations and reduce as the pandemic worsens. We are seeing extremely high cargo rates all over due to high demand and little space.
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.
South America: Chilean LATAM has cut services by 70%, Mexican Aeromexico by 40%, and Colombian Avianca by 30%.
Europe: Limited connections for air freight. 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. 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).
Asia: Bangladesh: All airports are closed, and no goods are moving in or out the the country. India: Airlines have cancelled service to India due to labor shortages. No goods are moving in or out of the country.
Africa: 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.
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, 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 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.
1.2 Ocean Freight
Ocean freight shipments are also facing delays, and, as a result, all quotes/bookings are subject to space and availability. Asia-Europe and transpacific ocean carriers are announcing another wave of blank sailings as the Coronavirus lockdowns shift from China to Europe and the U.S., dramatically curtailing consumer demand. Maersk, MSC, and Hapag-Lloyd have suggested more blank sailings could be on the way if there is further reduction in demand.
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 to any changes in hours of operation. The Port of Houston has reopened. 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 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 would be 45.5 feet Tropical Fresh Water (TWF). A second draft restriction, effective April 17, will reduce the draft to 44.5 feet TFW). 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: Bangladesh: All airports are closed, and no goods are moving in or out the the country. India: Many ports have declared force majuere and vessels have been turned away. No goods are moving in or out of the country.
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.
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 (Bah), 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.
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. A shortfall of shipping containers means cargo can’t move.
U.S.: DAT reports that ‘Urgent restocking’ continues to boost truckload spot rates and loads.
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 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.
India: Movement of all commercial vehicles has been restricted.
Capacity is getting tight between Europe and China. Shippers are advised to book early. Possible delays 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.
Europe: Possible delays of customs declarations due to health and travel restrictions.
India: Customs has been shut down.
1.7 Bans on Exporting Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Supplies
The European Commission has announced prior authorization for any export operation of medical protective equipment.
Egypt has banned the export of masks and all types of alcohol sterilizers for 3 months in a bid to avoid a shortage of medical equipment.
India has ordered a ban on the export of surgical face masks, the textile material that goes into making the masks, and ventilators and respirators.
Malaysia has banned exports of face masks, effective March 18.
The UK bans parallel exports of 80 crucial medicines, including adrenaline, insulin, paracetamol and morphine to protect supplies.
Turkey has banned exports of face masks.
The Argentina government has declared a national health emergency, and the government has imposed a total quarantine. Many businesses are working from home. All domestic flights are suspended. 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 gradually closing. Low cost carriers have suspended all international flights between March 23 and June 30. All ports are open and operational.
Ontario and Quebec have ordered all non-essential businesses to close. Borders are closed to anyone who is not a citizen, permanent resident, or an American citizens. 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. 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. 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.
A curfew has been imposed until April 13 and the country is in quarantine. Ports and Airports remain operational.
All international flights have been suspended.
All flights from Europe have been suspended.
The country is in lockdown. Restricted movement for basic needs.
A stay at home order has been issued. All borders have been closed.
The country has been quarantined. Many businesses are working from home. All schools are closed.
Vessels are required to report if crew changes occurred within 14 days of arrival at ports for COVID-19 cases. Vessels are required to report conditions onboard. Ships will be quarantined if any there are any confirmed or suspected cases onboard.
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 doctors visits. All international flights have been halted. Customs is working with a skeleton staff and will prioritize essential shipments of food and healthcare.
All borders will be closed on March 20 for at least six months. Large gatherings restricted. Pubs, cinemas and clubs have been ordered to close. All non-essential domestic travels has been banned. The Prime Minister announced a self-isolation requirement for all international arrivals to 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.
Full lockdown goes into effect on March 25. All non-essential businesses will be closed.
Restricted entry for travelers from Italy, South Korea, Japan, and Kuwait; travelers from these regions must have recent medical certificates proving they have not been infected. Air Freight: Many passenger flights have been suspended, and capacity is tight. Rates are increasing and transit delays are anticipated. Ocean Freight: Operating normally.
Internal travel has been banned. Security forces will stop people from traveling between cities. Regulations will be tightended if people do not obey these regulations, warned President Hassan Rouhani.
The country is in lockdown. 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. Public transportation has been reduced to a quarter of its usual capacity. Most people are working from home. Air Freight: The airports are open, but most of the carriers have cancelled flights. Ocean Freight: Ports are open and functional.
All passenger flights have been suspended. The country is in lockdown. Restrictions on non-essential movement. 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.
Ban on all international travelers. All passenger flights have been suspended. Non-essential businesses have been closed. Restrictions on non-essential movement. 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 Iranian barges which do not have permission to enter the country. Customs: Customs authorities are working curtailed hours.
Lockdown until March 29. All businesses are closed and residents have been asked to stay home. 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. 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, the Far East and Northern Europe, there has been no impact to export shipments. Rates are increasing on a weekly basis. Major Reefer Equipment shortage from France and northern European ports. Customs: Delays have been reported at Hamad International Airport due to additional screening procedures.
The country is on full lockdown. Many businesses are working from home.
A 21-day curfew has been imposed. 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 surcharges and PSS. 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. Domestic Trucking: Over the last few days, huge queues of trucks have been formed at the Bulgaria-Turkish border of Kapitan Andre.evo
Government authorities have announced all passenger flights will be suspended on March 25 for two weeks. 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.