Coronavirus Update 13th Feb

It seems as though importers, exporters and forwarders are beginning to fully realise how slow the recovery will be, following the still active coronavirus outbreak. 

Major international transport bodies have begun to respond and update on the crisis. Maersk, Wilhelmsen and CMA CGM are providing regular updates to customers, in an attempt to manage the crisis and deliver transparency. However as outlined by FTA (Paul Zalai), as the secretariat for the Australian Peak Shippers Association (as well as being on the board of directors) there’s plenty more work to be done. 

“The week the Coronavirus outbreak began to seriously impact global supply chains. A lack of labour in Chinese businesses generally is severely disrupting manufacturing in China and buyers are urgently seeking alternative supplies, placing even greater stresses on supply chains and logistics services. GSF has written to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Shipping Council (WSC) asking and encouraging them to provide disruption information.”  

Paul Zalai also notes the new Maersk surcharge.

“As if the blank sailings and other disruptions aren’t costing shippers enough, Maersk has advised customers they will be imposing a $1000 surcharge on refrigerated boxes arriving at Shanghai and Xingang from 7th February due to a shortage of plug points in those ports. That’s a third of the freight cost from Rotterdam!”

Downstream effects on production in other parts of the world are now being felt, and the natural knock-on in shipping loads and levels is starting to really come into effect. 

The Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) has met a request from the Registrar of Shipping to waive the need for 30 days’ notice to be provided to shippers informing them of associated blank sailings, as required by section 10.41(2) within Part X of the Competition and Consumer Act.

Border impacts are also being felt in Australia and in the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (AWE), with intensive resource and labour pressures already hitting. 

Clearances are running into difficulty with delays in adequate and timely border and biosecurity paperwork. 

ACF is encouraging all forwarders, agents, shipping lines, suppliers and clients to make sure they are well across all the latest information, with developments changing daily. The  Department of Health website is also a good way to stay on top of all the information. 

We’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely.


The ACF Team