Toronto, April 7, 2020
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, Universal Logistics is doing everything we can to support our clients and to keep you informed of the ever changing business environment and how it is impacting our industry.
The following information has been gathered by mode of transport from news sources as of Tuesday, April 7, 2020:
COVID-19 – Universal Logistics Fully Operational
Further to the recent Canadian and U.S. government announcements regarding non-essential business closures, supply chain support services (transportation/distribution/logistics) have been declared essential services/businesses in the Canadian Provinces and U.S. States where we operate our own offices (Ontario, Quebec, New York and Ohio). As such, Universal Logistics Canada and Universal Logistics USA will continue to be in full operation.
Canada Seeking to Keep Cross-Border Supply Chains Open in Face of Growing COVID-19 Export Controls (Ciffa, April 1, 2020)
One casualty of the COVID-19 crisis has been the international supply chain for medical supplies and medical products. To date, governments of at least 68 countries have enacted restrictions on the export of medical supplies and devices.
In particular, China is enforcing stringent new export requirements on medical products being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, exports of the following products require certification from authorized testing laboratories, copies of the manufacturer’s business license and the manufacturer’s certificate from China’s National Medical Products Administration.
Canada-U.S. Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel; Trade Will Keep Moving
All persons seeking entry into Canada for the purpose of commerce, trade, economic services and supply chains are being processed. This travel is essential and is not to be restricted.
Non-essential travel includes, but is not limited to: tourism; recreation; shopping for non-essential goods; and/or sightseeing.
Air Freight Market ‘Evolving Dramatically’ (Ciffa, April 7, 2020)
Medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and perishables are keeping air cargo markets afloat, supporting freight rates and charter prices, even as demand for many consumer products and manufacturing supplies nosedives due to economic shutdowns in many parts of the world. But the air freight market is also evolving rapidly and dramatically, with the demand and supply dynamics changing so fast that one of the biggest battles for freight forwarders is impressing upon customers the need to make quick decisions to secure capacity.
Air Canada Route Updates
Air Canada will continue to operate domestic and international flights with a reduced schedule for the month of April. For a full list of operating routes and route suspensions, please click here.
European and North American Ports Face Increasing Box Congestion (Ciffa, April 1, 2020)
Container ports across the world aside from China are set to face imminent congestion as a swathe of boxes sent for shipment from factories in Asia arrive at their import destinations.
Shipping lines started calling at Chinese ports again three weeks ago as the infection rate in China declined and production resumed. A lot of boxes stranded during the initial lockdown finally sailed.
However, over the past 10 days the COVID-19 impact has dramatically hit consumer demand in North American and European markets, as non-essential retail outlets closed and commerce generally shut-down.
“This leaves a fair tonnage of goods already on the water on their way to western markets, most bought FOB or FCA, which means the buyer will need to manage them once they arrive,” said James Hookham, secretary general of the Global Shippers Forum.
The inbound unwanted containers are triggering forecasts of congestion in port stacking yards and sparking debate about demurrage charges and storage policies.
Reliability to Suffer as Void Sailings Multiply (Lloyd’s Loading List, April 2 2020)
Shippers should be prepared for longer transit times, direct connections suddenly becoming transhipment connections, congestion issues in ports and terminals and the potential of a shortage in trucking capacity.
Late notice changes to schedules are already impacting carrier service reliability. According to Sea-Intelligence, global schedule reliability dropped by a further 3.4 percentage points month-on-month in February 2020 to 65.1%, the lowest recorded global score since the analyst introduced its coverage of reliability in 2011.
Not only do blanked sailings directly impact shippers with space booked on a specific service, they also affect the schedule reliability of services still in operation, as inducement calls and other tactical measures become harder to implement within existing schedules.
Carriers may have to tranship in unfamiliar ports and terminals, and the massive amount of blank sailings will lead to inland supply chain disruptions, which will lead to pile-ups and challenges in container repatriation, and thus to equipment shortages.
Port of Vancouver Update
On-dock and off-dock operations throughout the Port of Vancouver remain fluid. Weather storage capacity and export container and bulk cargo movement continue to be favourable. High anchorage demand continues while vessel activity remains fluid.
Port of Montreal Update
All Port of Montreal terminals are running at full capacity. Container dwell times at the docks and truck processing times at the terminals are normal.
Port of Halifax Update
The movement of containerized cargo vessels through the Port of Halifax has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Currently, there are no restrictions on container cargo vessel operations at the Port.
RAIL & TRUCK UPDATES:
Ontario Officials, Unions Call on Business Support to Keep Goods moving (Canadian Shipper April 2, 2020)
The Ontario Government has called on businesses to support truck drivers as they travel on provincial roads working long hours delivering food, equipment and other essential supplies for Ontario families.
“Our truck drivers deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our best efforts to help them as they continue to make sure we can put food on our tables and pick up other necessary items.”
The statement was issued in response to the treatment some working within the trucking industry have faced and the Ministers called on business owners to support drivers when they are stopping to rest, get gas or use washrooms.
The government said it is providing more safe places for truck drivers to stop and rest across the province and are keeping all 23 ONroute travel plazas open for take-out, grab and go and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning, as well as also providing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so trucks have a place to stop and rest safely.
While non-essential travel over the U.S./Canadian border has been temporarily closed, the transportation of goods by train between the two countries is open & protected. CN is reporting a fluid rail network, border crossings, inland terminal operations, and port gateways on the West and East coasts of Canada, and Southern U.S..
CP’s network remains fluid. The Canada-U.S. border is open for commerce, with both national governments recognizing the necessity for ongoing cross-border trade. Similarly, whether it is transporting fuel, oil and propane, or foods, pharmaceuticals and disinfectants or moving grain to our ports, CP’s trains are continuing to move in Canada and the U.S. The supply chain supporting essential railway operations also remains strong.
For more information, please feel free to contact us directly.
COVID-19 Response Team
Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1212 Email: email@example.com
John Leis, Director – Client Relations
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1215 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Glionna, Vice President – Systems Development & Operations
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Chris Cartan, Director – Operations
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David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services
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Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1308 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1224 Email: email@example.com
Vickey Ison, Office Manager – Cleveland
Tel. (440) 360-7850, ext. 100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org