Mainfreight China announced that it has now resumed normal air and sea operations further to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. However, as a precaution it will maintain a two shifts approach through until March 2nd.
The team reported that between 60% and 80% of shippers and factories have resumed export activity, with a lack of labour persisting in the short term.
It has also seen bookings increase steadily since the end of the previous week as Chinese importers are back operating as normal in the most part; overall, transport bookings are being completed, albeit with 48 hour delays in most cases, therefore the company deems important to arrange cartage ahead of time. It also reported that driver shortages are still being experienced, compounding the travel restrictions for those that are working and pushing up rates by up to 150%.
Despite the fact that port terminals are reported to be open, the company suggests that delays and vessel omissions continue to be a factor; Mainfreight deems that all shipping should be reviewed and where a significant inland road transport leg is involved, barge and feeder vessel options via 2nd and 3rd tier ports closer to the shipper or importer should be considered.
According to the company, shipping lines are still reluctant to accept reefer container bookings as a shortage of power connections on port, and the congestion detailed above, makes cool chain risk elevated.
The company is receiving enquiries regarding air freight options to and from China, and confirmed that it has put together options for all the main import and export Chinese lanes it operates in. These include New Zealand, Australia, the Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia.
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