New developments continue surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Below are the critical things you should know:
Many factories in China (except for those in Hubei province, especially Wuhan) have resumed work gradually since last week and are beginning to operate near full capacity. Most ocean carriers and shipping agents in Shanghai and Qingdao have returned to working from offices as of today. Approximately 95 percent of the trucking industry has resumed back to work in Shanghai, Ningbo and Qingdao. Very few roads continue to be under travel restrictions from the Chinese government and most roads can be utilized to transport goods in China.
More than 130 passenger airlines have shut down operations in China and Hong Kong through March and April, eliminating cargo space in those aircraft. Data suggests that airfreight rates are surging for exports from China, especially to Singapore, Korea and North America. At the time of publication, air cargo carriers Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Cargolux have all resumed full schedules.
This weekend, vessels began to evacuate empty shipping containers from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in Southern California and return them to Asia. Empty containers have been piling up over the last month due to the halt in manufacturing and sailing from COVID-19. Shippers and exporters in the Midwest that rely on the Southern California ports are beginning to be unable to secure space due to limited vessel capacity.
During February and March, more than 40 sailings to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been canceled. While volumes in February declined 25 percent in Los Angeles, it is expected that the uptick in manufacturing will lead to a rebound in U.S. export volumes and a spike in container volumes.
We will provide you with additional updates as we receive them. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our team.