CORONAVIRUS – China Freight
With the number official cases approaching 22000, over 10% of them in a critical condition and more than 430 deaths in China, the outbreak of the Coronavirus, is extremely distressing and our thoughts go out to all those affected.
As a result of the outbreak, The General Office of the State Council has extended the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival until Sunday, 2nd February, and Monday, 3rd February. However, municipalities including Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Ningbo as well as Guangzhou and Shenzhen have already announced the holiday will be extended until Monday, 10th February. It is anticipated that other provinces may follow the same direction as authorities attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR SHIPMENTS?
Ports, airports, rail and China customs are still operating as per normal during the holiday period (except Wuhan which remains largely locked down). However, congestion is expected due to the limited number of trailers available.
The initial proposal to extend the holiday until 3rd February will cause delays in shipments being able to be booked. Many people in China, especially factory workers, may also be hesitant to return to work, which could impact production and lead to still further delays.
The first two weeks following this holiday are usually a peak period, meaning there’s no guarantee of securing vessel space.
We also expect to see reduced availability over Air freight as carrier modes are switched for more urgent loads.
Please advise your purchasing/planning departments to take this into consideration, as it will undoubtedly cause significant disruption to your supply chain but rest assured FLS will work hard to minimise this wherever possible.
If you have concerns regarding freight due to move in the near future, please do not hesitate to speak to your usual contact at FLS, who will be able to provide you with the latest information and alternative transport options dependant on the urgency of your product.
We will continue to keep you updated and will do our utmost to minimise the impact to your business. We would additionally urge you to monitor media / government body outlets for developments as the situation evolves, as well as keeping in touch with your suppliers.