Importers may be wondering how Transport will be affected due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
It’s important to remember there are no bans on the movement of goods. The travel bans are for people only.
That said, there are some changes to the normal shipping practices.
Couriers are experiencing delays
UPS, FedEx, DHL and TNT are advising there may be delays in transit time of international shipments. This is due to possible staff shortages and changing airline schedules
Sea Freight is experiencing delays and cost changes
There may be staff shortages at the ports, and some shipping schedules have been cancelled as the shipping lines respond to the changes in demand. In addition, shipping lines will have new challenges in repositioning empty containers. As the normal container flows are disrupted, so the lines will have to ship more empties. These events will mean higher charges for shippers.
Goods are still being produced in China
The Chinese Government has said the country is getting back to work and it would appear that is the case.
Again, the production will be disrupted by some workforce shortages when people are ill or self isolating. But a lot of the economy is returning to normal
“The bottom for Chinese imports and exports across pretty much all shipping sectors was on Feb. 15,” said Dan Brutlag, Cargometrics’ head of trading signal and data products, in an interview with FreightWaves on 3March.”
Summary for importers and exporters
If you have the market demand for your goods, you can still ship them. But be wary of transit times and pricing. Seafreight prices will change so don’t expect to be paying the same price in April, that you paid in January. Courier rates may not change but here could be delays there as well.