Coronavirus and the situation in China
25 February 2020
We previously informed you about the extension of the New Year’s holiday in China. The scale of the Coronavirus means issues are spreading across the globe. Luckily, plenty of work activities are slowly being resumed in China. Our Chinese agent Cargo Services keeps us updated on developments on a daily basis so that we can give you accurate information on the situation.
Operational activities are being resumed slowly
- Right now, almost 25% of factories in China have reopened, but most are still experiencing a workforce shortage; many employees are still on their way back, or have returned but are in quarantine.
- Most Chinese offices are back up and running, albeit with a lot less people than usual. The local government regulations stipulate that a quarantine period of two weeks must be observed. This period is slowly coming to an end.
- The people employed in the Wuhan region – the area worst hit by the Coronavirus – mostly try to work from home. Although the port of Wuhan is still closed, there are attempts to continue the local activities and contact with suppliers.
Measures by the Chinese State Agency
The emergency procedure that had been imposed by the local Chinese government since the Chinese New Year is almost at an end. Road freight is now almost back to normal, and most drivers have finished their 14-day quarantine period. There are temperature checkpoints in each border district and at all motorways. Drivers are only given access after data from their mobile phones is checked to see if they have recently visited any infected areas.
The Chinese State Agency has decided to waive toll fees for all vehicles using the toll roads. This exemption will be in place until the epidemic is over and is intended to alleviate the challenges and bottlenecks arising on the local road network.
Our outlook for the period ahead
There will be a shortage of transport options affecting rail freight, sea freight and certainly airfreight. The lack of logistical capacity will result in higher transport costs, which will hit the fees for airfreight particularly hard throughout March. Shipping companies are very reluctant to quote fees because it is difficult to predict the exact impact. We hope things will settle down over the next few weeks, with more clear information. We will keep you updated as best we can.
If you have any questions about your (upcoming) shipment, please do not hesitate to contact your Ritra Cargo contact person.
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