The spread of the lung disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has global effects on people’s health and the global economy. As an internationally active company, we think of our employees, customers, partner companies and suppliers, who all work with great dedication to master the challenges that this special situation brings with it.
A) China – New corona outbreak End May 2021 leads to further delays in container shipping to and from Europe
A new corona outbreak in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, which is important for trade and production, with the Shenzhen special economic zone, is once again delaying global container shipping and thus also sea freight shipments from China to Europe and vice versa. After several reports of new corona cases with the new Delta variant were received at the end of May 2021, almost all container terminals in the port of Shenzhen, the 4th largest container port in the world, have now been closed. This also includes the terminals in Yantian, Chiwan, Shekou and Nansha.
Many container shipping companies have now decided that their ships will no longer call at these terminals in Shenhzen. Massive delays in the movement of goods must be expected, especially for European importers. It is currently unclear when normal operation will be restored.
Particularly relevant to the delays are the Yantian terminals, through which more than 30% of the foreign trade of the Guangdong province and, among other things, approx. 25% of the trade between China and the USA are handled. Overall, container throughput in the Shenzhen terminals was more than 26.5 million TEU in 2020, which is around three times as high as in Hamburg and almost twice as high as in Rotterdam.
When arriving in Europe, ship delays of at least 14 days can be expected. In Europe, too, the situation for export containers will worsen again in the coming months, as the delayed ship arrivals in Europe will again mean a lack of empty containers. In addition, strict traffic controls and quarantine regulations are hindering seaport hinterland traffic in Guangdong Province.
The sea freight teams in all NAVIS branches are in daily contact with the shipping companies in order to check the current shipping status of container shipments from South China and, if necessary, to reschedule containers after consultation with our customers. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual contact at NAVIS.
B) Global overview of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on freight and passenger traffic
A global overview of the effects of the coronavirus on freight and passenger traffic dated 14th. July 2020 can be found in our download area at: Global Impact on Freight and Passenger Transport of the Coronovirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
The latest update of the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore – USA) can be seen here.
C) Impact on LAND TRANSPORT in Europe and North Africa
The governments of all European countries and North Africa have taken strict measures to curb the further spread of the corona virus. Depending on the country, these included curfews, border closings, restrictions on the movement of people and goods as well as quarantine orders for certain people and for entire regions.
NAVIS Land transports can largely guarantee the usual standard transit times and loading days. Freight traffic in Europe was and is not directly affected by the border closings. Nevertheless, any border controls can still cause longer waiting times for the trucks. We can therefore still not fully guarantee dates and delivery times within Europe.
Since many companies in some regions of Europe have reduced their opening times due to the Corona measures or are suffering from staff shortages, there may be delivery or collection obstacles. We therefore recommend that you check whether your customer can receive the goods or whether your supplier can hand over the goods to us before you commission us with the transport, in order to avoid unnecessary additional costs due to incorrect delivery.
However, new restrictions and / or measures by the governments of the countries concerned can occur at any time. We are doing everything we can to provide you with current information on the situation around the coronavirus, but we would like to ask you to keep yourself informed about the development of the overall situation in the media.
Please note for your orders to NAVIS for European land transport:
1.) Please transmit to us only transport orders that are not subject to any official restrictions and for which the recipients are open and can be approached.
2.) We therefore recommend that you check whether your customer can receive the goods or whether your supplier can hand over the goods to us before you commission us with the transport, in order to avoid unnecessary additional costs due to incorrect delivery or storage fees.
3.) It is possible that truck transport companies will not serve certain destinations in Europe as usual due to the Corona crisis and that there will therefore also be a shortage of loading space. We therefore cannot rule out the possibility that freight prices will be adjusted at short notice on individual routes.
4.) Please contact NAVIS at any time for the current status of your shipment and the current transport options for our land transports within Europe and to and from North Africa:
D) Impact on the SEA FREIGHT supply chains
The coronavirus outbreak continues to have a significant impact on global supply chains, especially in ocean freight. Globally, obstacles and restrictions on container transport routes, rail and road freight traffic, ports and terminals (such as blockades, factory closures by manufacturers and suppliers, disinfection requirements and quarantine restrictions) must be expected.
In addition, a lack of available container equipment and capacity bottlenecks on the part of the shipowner, refusal of access to ports and terminals as well as the refusal of the customs authorities to clear goods in and from certain countries are possible.
The shipping companies have not only thinned the number of departures to and from Asia with so-called “blank sailings”. The ocean freight market is meanwhile confronted with hundreds of “blank sails” on all major trade routes, which lead to a considerable shortage of the otherwise available shipping space and to a worldwide imbalance in container equipment. As a result of the massive shortage of freight space, there will be rate increases not only in maritime traffic between Europe and Asia, but possibly worldwide (peak season surcharges).
In certain circumstances, the smooth handling and performance of the supply chain can no longer be fully guaranteed, as this event is beyond the control of NAVIS. If additional costs arise, we point out that NAVIS will pay these additional costs, such as storage fees, demurrage and detention will be charged.
In addition to the above-mentioned restrictions in connection with the coronavirus, NAVIS will probably not always be able to meet obligations to provide capacities, equipment, transport routes and lead times at the prices offered.
We apologize for any interruptions and delays your shipment may experience. NAVIS will continue to monitor these and implement necessary measures to minimize disruptions.
E) Impact on AIR FREIGHT supply chains
Back on March 17th, 2020, the European Union passed an entry ban for people from non-EU countries. On March 13, 2020, the USA had already issued an entry ban for people from the EU, among others. Many other countries have also announced entry bans or will issue corresponding bans.
Since this has brought global travel to a virtual standstill, all airlines have drastically reduced their passenger traffic capacities. Some airlines have now completely stopped their flight operations. In air freight traffic, therefore, almost exclusively pure cargo planes are used, but they are only available on a few main routes.
In the meantime, numerous airlines have switched to converting passenger planes into cargo planes at short notice. Some carriers not only fill the bellies below the passenger cabin of the large jets, but also transport cargo in the passenger cabins – some of them stored in packages on the seats and in the hand luggage compartments.
The resulting massive shortage of cargo space in air traffic is leading to drastic rate increases worldwide. Air freight customers unfortunately have to be prepared for higher air freight costs and longer transport times.
In the Corona crisis, air freight is an indispensable pillar to ensure basic supplies for people and the economy. Air freight is currently necessary to supply the world with the medical material necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, however, the organizational challenges for the airlines during the Corona crisis have increased daily. The many differently strict entry and quarantine regulations are a burden for the crews of the mostly intercontinental operating industry and make planning difficult. This also applies to overflight and landing permits.
F) Health of our employees and preventive measures by NAVIS
We pay particular attention to protecting the health and safety of our employees and ensuring that our customers’ supply chains run as smoothly as possible during this time. We continuously provide our employees with information so that they can support our customers with the best possible advice.The health and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority. So far we have not had a report of an infected case in our workforce.
In addition, we have started to actively involve drivers, service providers and employees in prevention. In addition to communication on hygiene measures, we conduct surveys to determine whether people have been in risk countries or areas in the past few weeks, for example. In this way we want to reduce the risk of infection for our employees and customers and ensure the continuation of our business activities. We have tried to inform you about the most important current effects of the corona pandemic on the international supply chains.
If you have any information or questions about the effects of the corona pandemic on international supply chains, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We wish all of our employees, customers, partner companies and suppliers that you stay healthy and survive the Corona period well.