March 27, 2020

With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting more countries, our global offices and network of agents are endeavouring constantly in limiting the significant impacts of the outbreak and its potential disruptions.

We are in an unprecedented time as economies continue shrinking at a record pace, faster than the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Many retail chains are announcing temporary store closures to fight against the Coronavirus, thus resulting in the slow down of purchases,  leading undoubtedly to lesser supply chain activities.

As we monitor the evolving situation on a daily basis, here are the latest updates on our network’s capabilities:

Mauritius

While Maersk Line’s office will remain closed during the curfew period, MSC has notified that it will remain open with a skeleton staff from Monday to Friday (From 09:00 to noon). They have however recommended proceeding with contactless transactions wherever possible.

As announced yesterday, we shall be providing more details as regards to the flight which Air Mauritius might be operating ex China. It has been brought to our knowledge that the flight is most likely to be ex Beijing.

It is to be reminded that Mauritius is on a sanitary curfew order until April 02, 2020 at 20:00 local time and most employees are Working From Home.

The recent highlights on the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on logistics in Mauritius, as well as the other territories, can be accessed at http://bit.ly/3bb5zop .

France

Freight forwarding activities continue to operate adequately throughout France as our workforce has transitioned to a “Work from Home” environment since the start of the confinement. Airport, ports and customs are working in slow motion. We have observed an upsurge in sea freight shipments, in contrast to air freight movements, which is presumably a consequence of flight scarcity. With border checks between EU countries in order to stop the movement of people, road freight is having a longer transit time. The borders are not closed for transit of cargo volumes though.

India

The nationwide lockdown will be maintained until April 15, 2020. It has been brought to our knowledge that many airlines are calling off services. With shipping lines having blank sailings, container movement is having unpredictable delays.

It is important to note that as from now onwards, a Fumigation Fee is being introduced by CFS’s for the release of all LCL & FCL shipments. This process will also cause a delay in the release of cargo (by approximately 24 hours) due to the procedural time required for the fumigation at the CFS.

Kenya

Our team in Kenya is presently seeking to have clarification from the respective ministry, through the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa & KIFWA if cargo clearance will still be allowed during the curfew which is starting as from 19:00 today. It is to be noted that the Kenyan Government has enforced a daily curfew from 19:00 to 05:00 on the next morning. With this lockdown being introduced, it is inevitable that some cargo (loaded containers) might be stuck at port or in transit – which remains beyond our control, though all measures are being taken to mitigate such adverse effects.

Madagascar

With the ongoing demand for the export of textiles, the present cargo space availability is becoming more restraint and airlines are now maintaining the premium rates.

Reunion

Our express activities are being operated with a skeletal workforce. Similar to yesterday, there were no inbound flights from Paris today, leading to further delays in the transit time of small packages from origins. The UPS operations in Reunion Island is expecting a flight for tomorrow and the shipments will be out for delivery as from Monday onwards.

Bangladesh

Though slowed down, both Dhaka Airport and Chittagong Seaport are still working, along with all land customs port.

Supplementary Information

  • Germany & Belgium: Though all airports remain open, with passenger routes closing down, there is almost no air freight capacity – except than to move shipments via freighter.
  • Spain: With the confinement since March 15, 2020, warehouses are working less hours while office staff are working from home.
  • United Kingdom: It has been reported that many manufacturers are already shutting down for Easter as from today and will re-open as from April 14, 2020 earliest. Hence, in case of suppliers being open, our team in UK can still proceed with collections. There is however much uncertainty on shipping line schedules as the number of blank sailings for Europe has increased.
  • Italy: The Italian authorities have published a new form and drivers must have this document in their possession when driving in Italy. For the moment all non-essential activities are suspended until April 03, 2020.
  • China – The majority of agents’ offices are operating with normal capacity except in Wuhan where it will continue to remain closed until further notice.

All the recent developments in the context of the Coronavirus are available on our website. Click here to access: http://bit.ly/3bb5zop .

Please do not hesitate to liaise with your usual contact person at Velogic, should you have any queries regarding this announcement.