Trailer Magazine

Coronavirus impacts global supply chain

  • Posted on Wednesday 5th, February 2020.

Recent actions to contain the coronavirus outbreak will likely impact the timely service capabilities of transport and logistics companies in Australia and abroad.

The Chinese Government extended its Lunar New Year Holiday period, imposing a suspension of operations for some businesses until 10 February.

VISA Global Logistics, as of 29 January, advised its offices in China would remain open.

"The anticipated impact of the virus will result in significant delays in production and loadings, of both air and sea cargo, due to both the extended supplier closures, labour shortages due to the travel restrictions and restrictions placed of the logistics operators who facilitate the movement of cargo," VISA Global Logistics said in a statement

US-based transport company, CH Robinson, has also reported delays following the coronavirus outbreak.

"With any kind of widespread health outbreak, global importers and exporters are dealing with unpredictable logistics concerns that require a proactive approach to keep businesses running as usual," said CH Robinson Vice President – Global Ocean Product, Sri Laxmana.

"It's important to note that any cargo from Wuhan, Hubei Province, and other quarantine zones, are restricted from leaving the province, which includes full container loads, less than container loads, as well as airfreight," he said – adding that there will be delays in factories re-opening and a reduction in exports from China due to Wuhan residents not returning to work until 17 February and other municipalities extending Chinese New Year festivities until 9 February, including: Shanghai Municipality, Chongqing Municipality, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Guangdong Province and Fujian Province.

The World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on 31 December 2019. On 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named '2019-nCoV'.

"WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond," WHO said in a statement. "Because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease."

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