Update: International Impact & PPE Imports

May 1, 2020


Record air freight rates have been recorded on TPEB routes as air freight capacity is struggling to keep up with the soaring demand for medical supplies. However, there are still many time-definite alternatives available at a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for a creative solution to avoid paying increased airfreight rates, Masterpiece will come up with something to fit your needs.

Ocean carriers are projecting double-digit decreases in imports during the months of May and June. As a result, steamship lines are announcing dozens of blank sailings to adjust to the decrease in demand, while simultaneously announcing GRI’s.

Due to the space situation, more manufacturers are starting to reserve space with carriers earlier than usual. Some have booked as far out as May to help ensure space. We encourage our customers to send booking forecasts at least two weeks in advance, in order to help ensure space reservation. Additionally, if you are having difficulties finding the necessary space with your BCO contracts, we’ll be happy to find a solution to get your cargo moving.

Holiday Notice: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam will be on public holiday Friday (5/1) to celebrate Labor Day. China will also observe Labor Day on Tuesday (5/5) returning to work on Wednesday (5/6).


The majority of the European Union will be observing Labor Day on Friday May 1st, Holland on May 5th, and the UK on May 8th. Parts of Europe are in the process of opening back up. Though the process will be gradual, it is still positive news for the global economy and manufacturing.


North American intermodal volumes are anticipated to decrease as much as 25% this quarter. As a result, rail service will be impacted as providers reduce frequency and capacity. If you have concerns about time-critical cargo, and available alternatives, Masterpiece team member will be glad to review your options.

Due to the decrease in volumes, please note that many ocean terminals have reduced working hours, as well as the number of operational days. Changes vary by terminal. Please reach out to find out more about a specific terminal.

PPE and Medical Supplies

Masterpiece is proud to have staff members that care about our clients. Two Masterpiece employees recently went above and beyond to help organize a shipment of much needed FDA-approved masks for a client, so their factory workers could be safe. Additional masks sourced were donated to local hospitals and urgent care centers.

For those importing PPE from China, it is important to note Chinese customs has announced inspections for 100% of all PPE, due to questions concerning legitimacy of FDA supplies. As a result, the demand for product and need for all PPE shipments to be inspections has created a great deal of backlog within Chinese customs.

Reach out to our team for the latest updates regarding Chinese compliance, FDA regulations and other pertinent information needed to ensure your time sensitive shipments move without additional costs or delays.

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