March 24, 2020
The spreading of the Covid-19 virus is continuously having major implications for logistics. At Velogic, we are carefully monitoring the evolving situation around the pandemic and remain committed to mitigating the impacts on the supply chain and operations of our customers and partners.
Below is a summary of the effects being experienced in all the territories we are present, including some affected power trade lanes we operate:
With the curfew being enforced since last night in an aim to further contain the Covid-19 spread, there have been further restrictions to movement within Mauritius whereby a Work Access Permit is being required to circulate. This has resulted in limitations in available resources, requiring us to further concentrate on the delivery of basic services to the transportation of essential commodities.
As far as the release of container equipment is concerned, while ACS Depot has notified about its opening hours being from 09:00 to 12:00 on weekdays only, MFD Depot will be opening from 08:00 to 14:00. The container depots will be closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
We have also been updated about sea carriers omitting Port Louis and instead, calling at Pointe Des Galets to discharge containers. The major concern is that at this stage, connecting vessels are not available from Reunion to Mauritius.
It has been observed that due to the scarcity of flights, the air import freight rates from China to France have nearly quadrupled. Our offices in France continue to operate from home, within the scope of our business continuity plan.
With customs operating with 5% of their workforce capacity, priority is being given to pharmaceutical and sensitive cargo. Moreover, it has been reported that CFS operations might be ordered to suspend all activities.
Cross border transportation between states is also being disrupted, except for basic amenities and food transportation.
Yesterday, the government has announced the closure of all public and private offices from March 26, 2020 to April 4, 2020. Our Dhaka office will therefore remain closed during this period. The sea operations office in Chittagong will continue its services until further notice.
After the Government communicated that all international flights will be suspended effective March 25, 2020 midnight, Kenya Airways has announced that it shall continue to operate its cargo flight, particularly to offer emergency services and much-needed supplies.
Though the Kenya Ports Authority has not denied access to any vessels at the port of Mombasa, ships will start operating only after the issuance of a Certificate of Free Pratique by the authority. This situation is also resulting in a number of cancellation in scheduled vessels.
Based on the President’s announcement, all international passenger flights are suspended. However, cargo flights are not affected by this restriction. It has been also shared with us that all ships coming into Toamasina, with less than 14 days after leaving a port in an affected country, are being guarded at anchorage. It is only on the 15th day that the pilot will be able to board the vessel.
Though customs is still working, priority is given to export and import clearance of pharmaceutical goods. Other inbound shipments can still be customs cleared, but with additional delays.
With the present lockdown situation, only our operations staff are working from the office for arranging pickups and ensuring deliveries pertaining to our express services. We are however encountering major service disruptions since the number of flights from Paris having been reduced to three flights per week.
- South Africa: The South African Government has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days, with effect from midnight on March 26, 2020. More details on the service disruptions will be communicated by tomorrow.
- Australia: While trucks and drivers are still operating to collect and deliver cargo, the road movements have been restricted. Though service is also being maintained for sea freight, there is a consequential decrease in equipment availability, especially refrigerated container.
- Pakistan: Since the lockdown, all international flights have been cancelled. It has been reported that only Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways are calling with their freighter flight, subject to demand and cargo availability, but with premium rates.
- Malaysia: Further to the movement restrictions, our agent is anticipating delay in clearance at all entry and exit points of the country, regardless the mode of transport. Also, flights and vessel calls are either being delayed or cancelled.
- Italy: Despite the lockdown, all main cargo ports’ are still operational. While airports are opened, with a reduced passenger flight, air cargo space is being negatively impacted.
- United Kingdom: The UK Government has notified to a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers of vehicles transporting essential goods.
Please do not hesitate to liaise with your usual contact person at Velogic, should you have any queries regarding this announcement.