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Newsflash - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Industry Update - 25.3.2020


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COVID-19 - Industry Update 


Essential Services

Ports and Airports will continue to operate, and the associated logistics chain will be required to support the clearance and movement of freight, so supplies are maintained.

Whilst Forwarders, Customs Brokers, Depots, etc. have not been specifically mentioned, our Industry Body, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) have sought assurance from the respective states, territories and national government that they all form part of the logistics chain and will be seen as essential services. Please refer to:

Fracht Australia remains fully operational, and we are here to assist you with your freight and logistics requirements.


Regional Updates


  • The situation in China is much better now with new confirmed cases being mostly overseas travelers. There have been some non-symptom infection cases identified as well as some who had been cleared only to be retested as positive. However, the number of these types of patients are low and are being well managed.
  • According to Chinese Government check points on roads have been reduced so most motorways/Highways are back to normal operation now. However, Hubei province still subject to regional restrictions
  • All provinces are trying their best to get back to normal production level, including Hubei province. Hubei province has started to release people to other provinces, however most of the travelers are required to quarantine 14 days, before going back to the office or factory. The Government is planning to totally unlock Hubei province around April 8.
  • Most of Provinces in China have announced they expect business and lifestyle back to normal in 2-3 weeks. Currently, the average of the productivity in China is back to above 70%, however that calculation includes Hubei province so in fact the average in other provinces is much higher (according to CCTV news).
  • Maersk line and MSC have confirmed they are using MSC Mia to carry the empty containers from China to USA.
  • According to Chinese Government, all the Chinese ports will not implement 14 days quarantine period for shipping vessels unless special concerns begin to be raised.


  • Many European ports are still experiencing blank sailings and the very fluid dynamic of the situation at various land borders is having an impact on sea logistics businesses is becoming more noticeable. 
  • The lack of sailings from Asia has, as we have noted before, created an equipment imbalance, with high demand for exports from Europe not being able to access empty containers.
  • Ports are operational albeit a slightly slower process than normal and cargo operators are able to work. As the situation develops in each country we will likely see, as we have in Australia, a range of new regulations and restrictions.

South East Asia

As the situation expands various governments are instigating various levels of restrictions. 

  • In the Philippines, Luzon (Manila), Visayas (Cebu) and Mindanao (Davao) had been placed under a state of "enhanced community quarantine". Obviously this will impact operations due to the restricted movement.
  • In Malaysia and India lockdowns have been announced and all non-essential manufacturing, government and private business premises in these countries are not operating. Essential services, as is the case in most countries, such as ports and logistics companies, continue to operate.

New Zealand


  • We are advised that the Italian government has now enforced a lockdown from March 25 thru April 3 in an effort to contain the COVID 19 pandemic.
    Ports and those involved in the food industry and transport (logistics) for essential services will not be impacted.
  • All factories, we are advised, with the above exceptions have been told to complete all orders / shipments prior March 25 and then lockdown.



As referenced in our last update, the global airfreight capacity has been decimated by the grounding of a large percentage of passenger aircraft.

Whilst we still have charter aircraft and dedicated freighters these alone will not accommodate all the required movement of cargo.

All agreed rates have become invalid due to the huge increase and instability in capacity and rates.

Please speak to the Fracht team to discuss each individual case.


Australia – Interstate Transport

Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory have all announced intentions to close their state borders.

Without exception jurisdictions proposing border closures to date have indicated that ‘freight and logistics’ will be exempt from restrictions – meaning freight vehicles (road and rail) can cross borders.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has strongly advocated a ‘wave through’ approach for freight vehicles with all governments – so that freight is not needlessly delayed at border check points.

At this stage, the Northern Territory has advised it will stop trucks and interview drivers at border crossings. The NT Government has assured ALC that freight vehicles will be accorded the highest priority for border clearance.

Please note that some state/territory governments are still finalising advice as to how their border checks will work in practice.
Some information regarding border closures is now available for Tasmania, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.


Storage and Distribution

Current, as well as future measures implemented by Federal and State governments may require lockdowns for some businesses, which might include their warehouses and 3PL facilities.

This would impede receiving incoming freight, as well as distribution to end clients.

Fracht Australia, with the help of our warehouses and logistics centers, can assist in keeping your supply chain moving. We offer a complete 3PL services which includes transfer of international freight to our depots, unpack of containers, storage, pick & pack, and re-distribution to your end clients.

We envisage that storage capacity will reduce the more companies become reliant on third party solutions.

Get in touch with us now to secure space and discuss your requirements!



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