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Newsflash - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Industry Update - 1.4.2020


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COVID-19 - Industry Update - 1.4.2020


Regional Updates


  • China has started to release the restrictions in Hubei province step by step as mentioned last week, the city should be back to normal from April 8. Currently, China have over 771 imported cases, and local new cases in the last week is less than 20.  
  • According to Beijing Daily, March 31, Chinese government are starting to monitor all back to work companies and factories to reduce the possibility of a second wave. Most of the big cities are keeping entertainment facilities either closed or in some cases partially back to normal business.
  • According to a study at the RENMIN UNIVERSITY of CHINA, the GDP increase rate for China will be 3%-4% in 2020, due to the impact of the coronavirus. It will trigger the possibility of a Global Economy downturn.
  • CCTV news March 29, the productiveness of the majority of eastern and southern provinces is back to around 90%. Some big cities are close to 100%, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing etc.
  • Normal trains services have started back in Hubei province, so the human resources from Hubei province are going back to other provinces to fill the demands (Xinhua news March 30). However, the Health checks and control policy are still being implemented.  
  • According to March 27, from March 9 thru 15 the average throughput increased over 10% for all the ports in China compared to the previous week.  From March 16 thru 22 most of the ports kept the same numbers. From March 16 Wuhan port is also back to operating.
  • However, according to many sources the rebounding of Chinese exports at the end of March and April is not as strong as expected, due to Global pandemic situation.
  • Maritime Strategies International (MSI), on March 30, also warned the whole forwarding industry that at the beginning of May there will be a big downturn again, as Europe and USA are locking down and stopping or slowing down their overseas purchases.


Other Areas

  • Dubai - Dubai government has established a "work from home" module from March 25 thru April 9. Also note no PAX flights into / out of Dubai, with exception of freighters. Dubai Customs will have limited staff so expect delays. 
  • India - Lockdown March 25 for 21 days - borders closed and only essential services and goods moving - delays can be expected to cargo movement in / out of the country 
  • New Zealand -  New Zealand has announced a move to "level 4" lockdown for a period of 4 weeks commencing Wednesday March 25. - essential goods have no restrictions  - non essential goods are being moved dependent on consignee availability / compliance - some shipping lines / stevedores accepting requests for relief of demurrage / detention  
  • South Africa - Lockdown March 27 till April 16 - strict controls only allowed to leave home for medical care / food shopping / medicine etc - supply chains involved in providing essential goods to essential services ok to work
  • Spain - Lockdown March 31 thru April 9 - essential services only (supply chain participants in these areas can work)
  • United Kingdom - Lockdown March 23 and will be assessed in 3 weeks - all non-essential shops close - supply chain still operating but a number of businesses are working from home which is impacting cargo delivery



The capacity of the airline’s passenger fleets to carry "belly space" cargo continues to decline as airlines close down their passenger routes.

That said, many are now moving to operating their pax flights as cargo flights only and this is providing some relief on some routes.

As mentioned last week there are cargo charters but these are continuing to come at much higher prices than normal.

In regard to airline routes into / out of China we are advised effective from March 29, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), each Chinese airline can only operate one route to any country, with no more than one flight per week. Each foreign airline can only maintain one route to China, with the number of weekly flights reduced to one.

The Australian Government steps in to provide $110 million dollars in airfreight support initiatives - Following on from the advocacy of FTA / APSA to the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission we were advised last night of this support for industry. 

These initiatives align to FTA / APSA’s recommendation "to ensure business continuity, it will be necessary for funding to support traders of perishable goods reliant on air cargo to export to or import from global markets" 

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