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20th March 2020

COVID-19 Updates

We would like to share our latest update on the Covid-19 virus. The focus has shifted away from China to Europe and the rest of the world.

China

General Status

Our reports indicate that up to 65% of factories are back to full production, although there is now concern that overseas buyers are reducing orders, and in some cases putting production on hold. The uncertainty in Europe and beyond is now a major factor affecting Chinese recovery and is likely to see a period of reduced production for some weeks ahead.

Local Transportation

With a few exceptions, this is largely back to normal. Tianjin reports trucking at 60% of capacity and Xiamen and Shanghai at 85%. Otherwise capacity is reported as adequate to cover the level of bookings.

Shipping Lines and Logistic providers

All ports and Terminal operations in China (except Wuhan) are now working normally.

Most carriers’ offices have returned to normal working in China, although some offices in Shenzhen and Shanghai are still supporting a work from home policy for 30% of staff.

Vessels and Cancelled Sailings

Carriers have reverted to almost normal services by the end of March, but the situation in Europe and decreasing liftings in China is likely to see carriers reviewing this situation and a new wave of vessel cancellations is likely, as carriers will look to match capacity to market demands, bringing some possible challenges to the logistics of moving cargo in the coming weeks.

Trains from China

We are still operating services from most Chinese origins into Warsaw, with transfer onto an ACS dedicated overland service from Poland to the UK. Rates and transit times are available on request.

South East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent

The capacity situation is much improved over March, as the carriers’ schedules returned to near normal. As at today there are only 2 further void sailings in March that will affect the transhipment hubs in Asia. The outlook however remains uncertain, as a second wave of vessel cancellations looks increasingly likely due to many European buyers stalling or cancelling orders over the weeks ahead. Carriers are now collecting forecasts from their customers, and further sudden capacity cuts affecting South East Asia and the Indian sub-continent appear inevitable.

Air Freight

There is still little cargo moving; capacity is much reduced, and rates are at an all time high. Some cargo scheduled to move by air is switching to sea freight and some orders have been cancelled.

All carriers have cancelled previously agreed commitments on capacity and rates, and prices are very volatile.

North China

There is little cargo moving and rates are still increasing.

South China

There is some capacity available, but rates are high.

Hong Kong

Cargo is moving but at peak rate levels.

Korea

There is capacity but prices are rising.

Singapore

There is capacity but rates are rising.

India

All passenger flights into India have been stopped, but freighters continue to operate. Rates are increasing.

Other Origins

Space is available, but rates are rising.

Continental Europe

All our European offices, hubs and partners are open and working within their own government guidelines.

However, although borders are closed for travellers and holiday makers, freight is moving, but there are delays for driver health checks at border crossings. It is likely that delays and schedule disruption will increase in the coming days as priority is given to essential freight, especially foodstuffs and pharma.

Whilst we continue to try and maintain our road freight departure schedules, it’s becoming more challenging due to the delays that drivers are encountering to/from the UK.

Rates will most probably increase next week and delays to standard transit times will grow.

Turkey

Most trailers moving to the UK from Turkey transit Italy. The current situation is that operations on the trains and ferries are functioning but with the caveats mentioned above.

UK

Confirmed cases of the virus continue to rise in the UK and the government is increasing measures to slow its spread. ACS will comply with all government measures as and when they are announced. Our CORE Command Team (Central Operating Response to an Event), is monitoring the situation carefully.

UK Airports

There are currently no issues at UK airports, but a significant number of flights and services have been suspended.

UK Ports

Our UK main ports have all announced measures to remain operational throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures include: screening of the vessels arriving, social distancing of staff between shifts, and Southampton, London Gateway and Felixstowe will now close UK landside operations for up to 4 hours a day in order to deep clean their terminals. This will affect vehicle booking slots and put some pressure on delivery requirements, but we will consult with clients individually about any issues.

UK Exports

Sea

There are still 15 major vessels missing from arrivals in UK main ports over the next 11 days. The lack of ships continues to cause significant problems for exporters and the shortage of containers in Europe is contributing to pushing up freight rates. We are working with the customers affected.

Air

The situation is similar to that for imports. Route cancellations have resulted in nearly all contracted rates and capacity agreements being suspended. Most of our UK shippers are still operating and moving cargo, but levels are reduced. We expect that volumes will contract further as ad hoc rate levels spike.

UK Warehousing

We have both chilled and ambient warehousing space available in the UK.

Chilled

The Midlands – 6,000 pallet spaces

Ambient

West – 4,000 pallet spaces

South West – 22,000 pallet spaces

South Midlands – 2,500 pallet spaces

Midlands – 7,000 pallet spaces

Yorkshire – 2,000 pallet spaces

Please contact us if you need storage solutions to manage your demand volatility

 

*ACS Operations, 20th March 2020*

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