Market Advisory Update – China Coronavirus
The Lunar New Year Holidays have officially drawn to a close in China, however, the risk posed by the coronavirus both inside and outside of China continues to affect the logistics supply chains.
We here at TOC understand the worry and uncertainty this is causing as factories and businesses are supposed to be returning from the holidays and resuming operations.
The fact is that many factory workers within China move from one place to another within the country to find employment and they travel home twice annually, Lunar New Year and Golden Week. If people are either unable to return because of travel restrictions or there are prohibitions on businesses reopening in the interest of protecting public health, all the world can do is watch and wait.
So what do we know that is new after the weekend?
From Hellenic Shipping News:
According to a Central Government directive issued on 27 January, the Lunar New Year holiday is extended to 2 February in Mainland China. All companies in Mainland China have been requested not to re-open their premises until Monday, 3 February.
The local governments are permitted to adjust the Lunar New Year holidays based on the local situation in the needs of Novel Coronavirus control. As per today, the following municipalities and provinces have announced the further extension of the holidays till 9 February:
- Beijing Municipality
- Chongqing Municipality
- Shanghai Municipality
- Tianjin Municipality
- Anhui Province
- Fujian Province
- Guangdong Province
- Guizhou Province
- Hebei Province
- Henan Province
- Heilongjiang Province
- Hunan Province
- Inner Mongolia
- Jiangsu Province
- Jiangxi Province
- Jilin Province
- Liaoning Province
- Shandong Province
- Shaanxi Province
- Shanxi Province
- Sichuan Province
- Yunnan Province
- Zhejiang Province
- (excluding Wenzhou)
The Lunar New Year holidays are extended to 13 February 2020 in the Hubei Province (including Wuhan) and to 17 February 2020 in Wenzhou (of Zhejiang Province).
Additional voided sailings:
The Journal of Commerce (subscription required) reports that while carriers have so far held back on blanking additional sailings, there is a very high likelihood of this happening.
“The final vessels that left Asia before Jan. 25 will begin arriving on the North American West Coast next week, and by mid-February on the East Coast. The trade had already built several weeks of depressed import volumes into their operations in February and March by announcing more than 40 blank sailings beginning Feb. 9. Most of the blanked sailings announced by carriers were scheduled for mid-February until early March.” – Greg Knowler, JOC
Maersk Line has announced a waiver of detention and demurrage charges for cargo leaving China from January 27th through February 9th.
Coast Guard taking measures for vessels arriving from China:
The US Coast Guard announced new US port arrival procedures effective immediately for vessels that have called Chinese ports (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). The incoming vessel must report to the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port on the crew’s health. And, as long as there are no sick crew members onboard, vessels will be allowed to berth normally.
Global airlines cancelling flights to and from China:
American, Delta and United have announced suspension of services through the end of March to and from mainland China owing to a significant drop in passenger demand. Other European and Asian carriers are taking the same steps.
The US government has also imposed entry restrictions to the United States for foreign nationals who visited China.
What does this mean for TOC customers?
We realize that without workers, factories can’t open. Without flights, we cannot offer hand-carry services. Further, we recognize the public health risk and cannot put our people in harm’s way or risk them being quarantined or prohibited re-entry if we are transporting cargo from China to North America.
TOC is working with our carriers and our representatives in China, Hong Kong and the surrounding affected countries to ensure that we are aware of the most current conditions and can take actionable steps to keep cargo moving on behalf of our clients as soon as we are permitted.
Please stay in touch with your TOC point of contact throughout this process.
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