Air cargo industry companies are bracing themselves in the wake of the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China, and now across the Globe.
British Airways amongst others have already announced that it would suspend all direct flights to and from mainland China, with others expected to follow.
From the start of the outbreak, many passenger airlines, which normally also carry cargo, as well as air cargo carriers have canceled flights. Air freight rates are expected to spike once production resumes and air carriers start flying again.
This means a burden on other shipping methods, mainly Sea Freight from the China provinces and Asia Pacific region.
At this critical time in industry, with lots of business' facing uncertainty in general, and the Brexit effect still widely unknown across Europe, what can Business' do to manage this issue ?
- Anticipate delays in getting goods out of the region. Unfortunately, much of this is out of your suppliers’ control if they are using store / forward.
- Speak directly with your suppliers to confirm order ready dates.
- If your goods need to be road carried between provinces, first confirm with your factory that goods are ready, and then consult with your freight forwarder to make a plan for maximum efficiency.
- If possible, book any upcoming shipments with an available ready date to get your goods moving as quickly as possible.
- Consider shipping LCL instead of FCL in the short term to minimise your chances of getting rolled.
- If your order is not urgent, consider delaying your shipment until some of the backlog has cleared and freight rates likely return to normal.
- You can still book orders on GCLParcel, we are working and taking bookings business as usual.
- If your production is at an early stage, consider sourcing outside of China.
These are just some of the ways of mitigating the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, there has been some hints that there could be a surge in demand when factories re-open after the extended Chinese New Year break, In Szchenzen Province, Apple Manifacturer's Foxconn have switched production on one of their lines to making up to 500,000 face masks per day.
GCL Parcel Founder and CEO Ambrose has said "Whilst we are very sympathetic for those affected by the deadly virus, we are working business as usual. There will be delays, there will be cancellations. The best we can do is follow industry best practice and keep our customers informed by passing on the very latest news we are given by our shipping partners. Please get in touch if you need any help."
If you need any advice at all, and need help, get in touch and we can give you the latest up to date advice.