March 30, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak continues impacting us all as new cases become known every day in different countries around the world, heavily impacting on the already challenging logistics landscape.

With countries shutting down, global trade is being highly affected and the demand-side effect is being felt in various sectors.

Here are the latest updates on our network’s capabilities:

Mauritius

Following the Prime Minister’s press briefing this evening March 30, 2020, it has been announced that the curfew, which was expected to end on this Tuesday 31, March 2020 will now be extended up to April 15, 2020 at 20h00.

With this decision, based on the government guidelines for the protection of safety and health, we shall be maintaining a skeleton staff on site, while the remaining majority will be working from home. However, while the port is operating with a reduced workforce and limited hours (from 07h00 to 21h00), we have observed that 5 shipping vessels have already notified that they shall not call at Port Louis for the discharge of containers.

Maersk Line has moreover announced today that as a measure to support customers, it shall proceed with 50% reduction on standard tariff on import detention & demurrage for dry cargo only – applicable to vessel arrivals for the period March 20, 2020 until April 15, 2020.

Our team is also working on the potential airlift of pharmaceutical, sanitary and medical orders from China. Should you have any specific request, we invite you to call our office on +230 206 1000 or send an email to [email protected] .

France

Airports and seaports are operating normally for cargo in France. This also applies for cargo handlers, truckers and customs. However, with the reduced workforce, efficiency is being impacted.

Though sea freight rates have remained stable, the airfreight rates have drastically increased – similar to the trucking rates, which is a result of shortage in equipment. We have observed that the majority of the textile shipments we handle have now been converted to sea freight mode.

Our team in Velogic France is also making all efforts in supporting companies which import personal protection equipment from China. 

India

All Velogic India offices are also working from home. While most of the passenger flights are suspended until mid April 2020. Qatar Airways, China Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Etihad are still operating freighter services from selected airports, depending on cargo in hand.

On the sea freight, it has been reported that CFS are stuffing / destuffing essential goods only while most administrative works, like release of BL’s, are being done from home. Despite the confinement, transportation has started for all type of goods – including industrial supply and essential goods.

Kenya

With the airport offices closing at 15h00 daily, customs clearance and delivery of shipments, mainly from China and India are being delayed.

The Kenya Revenue Authority has however issued a notice to all members of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers informing that all members about customs clearance at the entry/exit points being done without the route physical examination – as a measure towards ease of doing business during this confinement period, coupled with the limited number of operations hours.

Madagascar

Our team has been informed that as from this afternoon, only trucks transporting necessities products can circulate between the two confined cities – Antananarivo and Toamasina. Same will apply for delivery and pickup of shipments.

Despite the fact that customs and ports are remaining operational, this new regulation will have a major impact on our customers’ supply chain as many of them are not into trade of basic products only. A representation is being done near the authorities and we shall be keeping all customers informed accordingly.

Reunion

Though our team is still be able to customs clear sea import shipments and that delivery can be arranged, it has been reported that many companies are not being able to receive their orders since they are not allowed to work during the confinement period. For this week, around 3,500 – 4,000 TEUs are expected to be discharged from the different shipping lines calling – mainly MSC, CMA CGM and Maersk Line.

On the air side, we presently have limited solutions since Air Austral is having only two flights this week and Air France having three (2 passenger and 1 cargo) from Paris. No other flights are schedule due to many of them having suspended their calls. Similar to sea shipments, our team can still customs clear and deliver cargo, wherever consignees are able to acknowledge receipt of the shipments.

Our UPS Express operations are expecting cargo tomorrow and we shall customs clear and proceed with delivery.

Bangladesh

Authories have extended the suspension of international passenger flights until April 07, 2020. It has been reported that Dhaka has suspended all air communication with Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and India from March 22, 2020 till March 31, 2020. Our team also updated us about flight operations with Bangkok & Hong Kong being cancelled since last week as well as Biman Bangladesh Airlines suspending their London and Manchester flights from March 30, 2020 until April 7, 2020.

Supplementary Information:

  • Australia: Our agent has shared that though seafreight capacity is still available, we continue to see equipment shortages – particularly for refrigerated cargo. It is recommended that bookings are placed early so as to mitigate risks. Air freight requirements are still being handled, but with reduced services.
  • South Africa: Currently, vessel schedules have been delayed for both inbound and outbound volumes while the port terminals are working with minimal vessel berths and reduced workforce.

Should you have any concern and/or queries, please feel free to contact your Velogic local representative and we will be happy to assist you.