The world is buzzing with news, and stories, abut the recent Coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China. Ship calls to ports in China have fallen 20% since January 20, 2020 as measure take hold to stop, or at least slow down the spread of the virus. According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts expect the shut downs in factories and cities will reduce the total trade from China by 0.7% for the year, but considering the Chinese New Year shutdown has been extended until February 9th, we won’t have a final impact on economy until the first quarter numbers come in.
In the last 2 weeks there have been at least 2 dozen blanked sailings as Maersk, Evergreen and CMA CGM (among others) are cancelling trips as demand for goods dropped off critically since the virus was reported. Hyundai has announced that they’ll suspend all production at each of the seven plants they have in South Korea, as they can’t get parts from China to resume work. Tesla and Kia have also started to pull back production for the same reason. Many vessels can’t move as they’re stuck in a “floating quarantine” as workers aren’t allowed to leave because of the danger. Delays getting goods out of China are expected to extend into March, or longer depending on the ability to stop the virus. This has already impacted oil and gas prices, which are dropping precipitously in the face of suspended sailings and flights.
We can see the official numbers of infected in the USA, here at the CDC. The WHO is updating case information globally here. The US Coast Guard has set up precautions for vessels calling US ports regarding shipments from China. Travel and Leisure is reporting on cancelled flights. As we wait for more information to avail itself, we’ll update this post here with the most current information that we can find. As more carriers announce cancellations and changes to services offered through China, we’ll work to try and keep them updated. Everyone should be ready to see delays on all cargo coming from or through China.