It has been two weeks since the WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2011. The Philippines closed Manila, and India closed the country and even imposed a curfew. And on March 26, an emergency declaration was declared in Thailand.
At the moment, each country is taking its own measures to bring the situation under control, and companies are introducing remote work and banning the visits of outsiders.
In Thailand, entertainment facilities, such as Movie theaters, Thai-Kickboxing Stadium, Shopping malls, Bars, Restaurants and Massages, have been closed.
In addition, some airlines have also decided to reduce the number of flights and, in some countries, to suspend services.
International logistics is an important infrastructure, so it will not be stopped so easily, but it is definitely having an Impact.
Today, I would like to explain the impact of COVID-19 on logistics as of March 30, as far as I understand it.
Sea transport to Wuhan has resumed
Wuhan is the birthplace of COVID-19. Although it is the area, where logistics were first halted, marine transportation services to Wuhan have now been resumed.
Unfortunately, the virus has spread all over the world, but I could see just a little bit of a way out of the situation.
Impact of the Manila lockdown in the Philippines
It was Manila, Philippines, that had the first lockdown in Southeast Asia on March 15. We also handle a lot of marine transportation to the Port of Manila. So far, there are no special announcements from shipping companies.
We have received a lot of inquiries from our customers, but our ocean freight services are working as usual.
Impact on international logistics due to the All-India Blockade
India announced a complete 21-day blockade across the country, starting from March 25. A curfew has been imposed and factories and airmail services have been suspended.
I searched for “India Logistics Covid” on Twitter and found an article on the Internet that says India’s logistics are in a serious state. It can be summarized as follows.
・Food, masks, medical supplies, etc. have to be delivered, but they are stopped by the police on the road.
・Cargo flights are arriving in India, but due to the lack of airport personnel, they can’t be loaded and unloaded.
・There is also a shortage of customs officers, so we can’t clear customs.
・Warehouses have also been stopped and the supply chain has stopped.
For more detail, please refer this article. *jump to other website.
Impact of reduced or stopped air shipment service
In order to limit the movement of people, who carry COVID-19, airlines are reducing or stopping flights in some areas.
Thailand International Airport / Japan – Service Suspended in Thailand
Thai Airways (TG) has announced that it will suspend its service to Japan till 31st May(TYO/KIX) & 24th Oct(Local Ports) .
Airfares have skyrocketed
Since the number of flights are decreasing, airfares are going up.
For example, the airfare for a cargo flight by Nippon Airways (NH) to Narita is currently THB 170/kg all in. It is usually THB 50~60/kg all in but now, it is more than three times.
There will also be a cancellation fee. In the past, there used to be no cancellation fee for cancellations, but now there is a charge. So please note that.
About courier services such as DHL, UPS, Fedex, TNT, etc.
We use the DHL service to ship important documents, such as B/Ls and Certificate of Origin. However, last week, I was told that DHL can’t send to some areas of the Philippines.
We used TNT’s service instead, so there was no problem. But there will be the following troubles if you can’t send shipping documents.
① We can’t send original 1B/L.
・B/L should be surrendered
・In the case of L/C
→ Waybill and Surrender. Also you need to deal with it by L/G. Please consult with your bank.
② We can’t send original certificate of origin
In principle, the document should be the original, but depending on the situation, it may be possible to discuss with the customs by submitting a copy.
※The information is uncertain, but it is our opinion.
In such emergencies, things that would normally be done without problems suddenly become impossible to do. Things are decided and executed from the governments without any announcement or preparation to the relevant departments.
Therefore, although we, as an international logistics company, try to respond and disseminate information in a timely manner, sometimes it may be difficult to respond as usual.
We will respond as needed and share information as we see the situation. In any case, I hope that further expansion will stop and convergence will begin soon.