SILA Global – Coronavirus Weekly Update 01/05/2020


Dear Reader,

Please find below weekly update of major international hubs experiencing COVID-19 restrictions:

Canada: Working as normal – limited air space

China: Working as normal – limited space & higher air rates and congestion starting to clear. Permits needed between Hong Kong & Shenzhen & strict policies on export of medical supplies.

France: Lockdown in place – air freight very difficult with all contract rates cancelled and cancellation fees to apply. Sea freight mostly OK with reduced working hours. Essential production OK, non-essential is decreased or short term shut down.

India: Complete lockdown extended until 3 May– only medical, food & approved items allowed to move subject to medical screening. Air space drastically affected, sea freight affected by limited staff, less capacity, some port closure, quarantine requirements and port congestion. Domestic transport for essential services only. Some agriculture, manufacturing & construction allowed to resume work.

Indonesia: Partial lockdown extended until end of May – working with decreased hours/less capacity. Air rates are high with some services suspended.

Italy: Limited air space, Sea freight stable. From 27/04 companies with >50% export business can reopen and from 04/05 all companies can reopen with social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Germany: Partial lockdown – air space is extremely limited and sea freight is mostly OK. Most factories are shut except essential services. Biggest concern is driver shortage and storage shortage.

Korea: Social distancing in place – unstable schedule & limited space however domestic transport not affected.

Malaysia: Partial shutdown in place extended to 12/05 – essential services are OK however non-essential requires exemption. Less air/sea capacity & transport requires permits. Face masks controlled item – restricted for export.

New Zealand: Some lifting of restrictions moving to Level 3 – to be reviewed in 2 weeks.  Essential services OK, some businesses now allowed to open and will allow for cargo deliveries to take place.

Peru: Partial lockdown in effect. Air & sea freight OK however with delays.

Philippines: Partial shutdown extended to 15/05 – some zones have suspended business. There is less space, unstable schedules and transport requires permits. Port congestion in Manila.

South Africa: Government lockdown extended until 30/04. Supply chain for essential services is OK

Taiwan: Working as normal – limited space & higher air rates

USA: Working as normal – some partial shutdown in some areas. Air freight is tight, sea freight is operating as normal. Factories mostly working but with limited hours.

UK: Lockdown extended to May 7 – air space heavily reduced – no contract rates. Sea freight working as normal. Essential services working ok, non essential working limited hours/staff.

Vietnam: Some lifting of restrictions in South Vietnam, extended in North Vietnam. Medical supplies allowed to be exported in limited volumes. Less capacity, subject to blank sailings as a result of diminishing export volume and limited flights. Transport subject to health check points.

Please also find below latest update from the FTA:

Have we found the straw to break the camels back?

Reports over the weekend indicate that we will see a relaxation of restrictions in some states due to decreased reporting of new infections. This provides hope to many businesses that they too will soon be allowed to open back up which in turn will create jobs and again stimulate the economy.  Training institutions dependent on international students, tourism and hospitality, will no doubt have to wait some time before they see an influx of overseas visitors. So it will be up to Australians to stimulate that sector when intra-interstate travel is once again allowed.

In terms of trade, indications are that low import volumes for May will extend possibly into June / July from China as well as reduced exports from the USA and Europe may further impact the freight and logistics industry. Unfortunately recent days have seen more staff / management put off in some of these businesses and with no decision still on our request for deferral of duties, taxes and gst many SMEs will feel the pressure of carrying financial liabilities. We are also hopeful that our Cash Flow Boost and JobKeeper advocacy will ensure that members can maximise the financial relief offered via these schemes to also support SME’s in our sector of commerce.

China – Update

Our sources from China have provided us with the following updates

  • China continues to test non-symptom patients to control community transmission. April 27, the government announced that there is no longer any COVID-19 patients in ICU in Wuhan. Heilongjiang’s breakout is also under control now. However, experts from Beijing University are expecting the virus will exist in the long term.
  • Chinese Customs are continuing to monitor medical exports. Since April 26, Chinese Customs have tightened the export of non-medical masks refer  quality control notice No 12, Ministry of Commerce of the PRC. The government also released White list related to the medical and non-medical suppliers. Customs clearance will be different if suppliers are not on the white list and inspection will be mandatory with importer’s declaration required.
  • April 24 – At the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) hosted by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, 19 ports committed to keep operating during COVID19 outbreak, including three ports from China – Shanghai port, Ningbo Port and Guangzhou Port.
  • According to Ministry of Transport of PRC (April 22), for the first season the volume of Chinese’s foreign trade is 95.4% comparing to first season of 2019. In March, China ’s port cargo throughput was 1.098 billion tons, an increase of 36% from February ’s 806 million tons, of which foreign trade cargo throughput was 354 million tons, an increase of 16% from February ’s 305 million tons, and container throughput was 2047. 10,000 TEU, an increase of 49% from February ’s 13.72 million TEU.
    The foreign trade of nine of the top ten provinces has decreased in the first season.
  • The General Office of the State Council of PRC has suggested 2.5 day weekends, some local governments are following the direction , such us Anhui province and Zhejiang province, some cities in Jiangsu, etc. The actions are not mandatory but clearly designed to stimulate the local economies of the provinces. The revised hours will no doubt have some impact on Chinese businesses operation hours.General  Updates
  • North America– All Port Terminals will prioritise essential products (medical goods) movements over non-essential goods. However, cargo is still flowing into/in US and Canada. Terminal operators are preparing now to prevent anticipated cargo surge in May and June by offering on-terminal storage space for containers carrying non-essential merchandise.
  • Europe– not dissimilar to the USA, Ports operational in most countries but processing is slow. Italy, restrictions starting to be lifted – export factories and public construction now open and the majority of Italy’s industry will start to open from May 4.  Spain, businesses and factories now back at work as are many government agencies. However restrictions are still in place for retail stores, entertainment and leisure activities.
  • United KingdomLockdown restrictions have been continued through to May 7 and will be reviewed at that time. All non essential shops close – supply chain still operating but a number of businesses are working from home which is impacting cargo delivery.
  • New Zealand New Zealand transition to stage 3 lockdown with businesses to open back up and allow deliveries from cargo terminals to be less impacted.
  • India– Lockdown extended till May 3 – some workers in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing and construction allowed to go back to work. internal “border” restrictions in place as “cases” are identified as coming from specific areas.The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Tuesday extended the facility given to businesses to import and export goods without furnishing bonds to the Customs authorities till May 15 in view of the extension of the lockdown period till May 3.

Economic Update                              
“Markets continued to recover lost ground, as economies around the world begin to re-open. Optimism is relatively high, as business gets the cautious green-light in parts of Europe and the USA. Once economies re-open, the extent of the devastation that the economy has suffered, will start to be revealed.
A look at Australian CPI data today, will be a gauge of inflationary pressures and growth, while NZ trade will reveal how adversely imports and exports have been impacted”

– See the full daily update HERE // see weekly update HERE

Airfreight Update
The $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) is underway with some 550 requests for support from Agriculture and Aquaculture business now lodged and ready for assessment. Already some 6600 tonnes of cargo has been assisted by Austrade in moving out of Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. As well as the $110 million IFAM program specific businesses (exporters or freight forwarders not part of the approved panel) can apply for grants or block requests for space provided the products meet the criteria. As for import space is is strictly limited to medical supplies and is and driven through the 6 nominated forwarders or directly by the Australian government.

If your goods, import / export, do not meet the IFAM guidelines please continue to review the FTA COVID- 19 Air Cargo bulletin board to advertise your space availability or needs.

* IATA Air Cargo action
* IATA – Government measure related to COVID-19 – search country specifics
Business Operations
Statements from Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
* Weekly Wrap – 240420
Assistance available to Small Businesses ( with state links )
Supporting  businesses to retain jobs – Jobkeeker payment

Transport & Port Updates
Transport for NSW
Victoria – Department of Transport
Port of Melbourne –  Port Supply chain contingency planning update
Queensland – COVID-19 freight & export market update bulletins
Freight & Logistics Council of WACOVID -19 web site

WCO updates
* Joint WCO-IMO statement on the integrity of the global supply chain
during the COVID-19 pandemic
* WCO and WTO join forces to minimize disruptions to cross-border trade in goods
WCO – Temporary Import Supports and Export Restrictions lists by country

Essential Services
South Australia – government response to request for inclusion of the “freight & logistics”  chain to be included as an “essential service

Ensuring Employee Health & Communications during Crisis Management
Every one of our clients is wrestling with managing a largely remote employee workforce in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Providing basic safety and security information about your teams to management, and allowing management to easily communicate with their employees working from home has become more important than ever before. And the need is immediate and now. read full article HERE     

Workplace Relations                               

Ed Mallett, Founder & Managing Director – Employsure, conducts a live stream each day on COVID-19 issues – see the facebook link HERE – to catch previous session click HERE

There are also links to a range of support material on their website including the new JobKeeper HELP product refer fact sheets below – for more on how to access this offer please contact Lee Senft or call 1300 651 415
JobKeeper HELP
Fact Sheet 

Please note the below links for up dated information


FTA suggest members / industry maintain close relations with their forwarders, agents, shipping lines, clients and suppliers / agents globally to ensure they have the latest information available. This is a time for review and planning not for panic.

FTA will continue to monitor issues surrounding the coronavirus and keep members updated as necessary.


John Park – Head of Business Operations, FTA / APSA