Dear Valued Customer,
Over the past week, we have watched the Coronavirus story develop in many countries around the world, with it spreading across oceans and into previously unharmed areas. Across all continents except Antarctica, the virus now has reached a global total of 94,000+ infected. We have examined the situation in Asia, Europe, and North America below.
Overall the situation in China is getting better, however there are still new cases being discovered daily. Wuhan is currently on strict restriction by the Chinese government and roads are blocked. Other provinces and cities in China have seen some improvement, with some companies returning to work with capacity up to about 90%. There is still a shortage in manpower, local transportation, and truck drivers.
Other countries in Asia are feeling the spreading effect of the virus with infection cases way up in South Korea (5600+), as well as Japan (300+), Singapore (100+), and Hong Kong (100+).
Most carriers have extended their February rates to March 14th. The Alliance has increased its rates by $50 per TEU. Space is still a concern since carriers are not adding any extra loaders. With shippers back at work this week, expect an increase in rates from March 15th onward.
Air freight rates are spiking this week, especially in South China and Hong Kong. In Central China, rates are moving more gradually up, but expecting a 30% premium by end of this week. Charters are fully booked this week, only available from next week onward. Almost 70% of passenger flights this past week have been cancelled by Asian airlines out of the region. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines stopped their passenger flights this week. Singapore Airlines have suspended its passenger flights also, and Japan Airlines has extended its cancellations.
New Coronavirus infections spiked in Europe over the weekend, with Italy (2500+) reporting hundreds of new cases. The number of cases also jumped in Germany (240+), France (200+), Spain (190+), Switzerland (90+), and the U.K. (50+). More than 30 deaths have been reported across Europe.
It has been estimated that +40% of scheduled departures on major Asia-to-North Europe routes were cancelled in the past four weeks. Blank sailings are contributing to a shortage of reefer containers in some European countries. Most of EU ports are already expecting a fall in volume in 2020.
Delta Airlines has decided to temporarily suspend its daily flight between New York (JFK) and Milan (MXP). Service to and from Milan is expected to resume on May 1st. Delta’s daily flights between Rome (FCO) and both New York (JFK) and Atlanta (ATL) will continue to operate as scheduled. We are working with our extensive European trucking network to move shipments from Rome (FCO) as well as Paris (CDG), Amsterdam (AMS), and Frankfurt (FRA) into Milan (MXP).
American Airlines informed it is suspending its flights out of New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA) to and from Milan (MXP) until April 24. Their daily flight from Philadelphia (PHL) to Rome (FCO) is maintained.
The U.S. (120+), Canada (30+), and Mexico (5+) have seen a slight uptick in infected cases over the past week, with the U.S. seeing nine deaths in Washington state. We will expand upon the Coronavirus’ impact on the U.S. in future weeks.
How Masterpiece Can Help:
Our international delegates in APAC and EU are constantly communicating with our partners and agents to provide creative solutions in the event of flight cancellations and suspensions, including:
– Origin Services
– Inland Transportation & Trucking Solutions
– Temporary Storage
For shipments with time-critical and sensitive handling needs, please ask about Expedited Air Freight services. For a quick but cost-effective alternative, ask about Masterpiece’s Expedited FCL and Expedited LCL services.
Please contact your local Masterpiece representative with any questions.