• February 5, 2020 in Latest News, Uncategorized

    Extension of the Chinese Spring Festival Holiday – update 5th February

    Latest updates – 5th February

    • The coronavirus has now infected 20,629 and caused 427 deaths globally, with 20,483 infections reported in China as of Tuesday morning. This is an 18 percent overnight rise, a lower rate than a week ago when infections were spreading at 29 percent.
    • Coronavirus mortality rate is currently 2.1 percent, consistent with normal influenza.
    • Hong Kong has reported its first coronavirus death.
    • Hong Kong government closes 10 of 13 border crossings with mainland China; further reduces mainland flights.

     

     

    Currently, the Ocean Carriers have not advised of any changes to their current scheduling ex China to Australia.

    However it has now been confirmed that there are restrictions being applied to the arrival of vessels from China into AU, and advice from the Australian Border Force (ABF) has indicated a formal advice will be issued shortly regarding .

    In the interim, we have noted on the website for the Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) commentary as follows; (the full article can be seen HERE)

    • In brief, the advice for ship’s crew is the same for anyone else – if they have joined a ship, or been ashore in mainland china and returned to the ship from 1 February they will not be permitted to come ashore in Australia within the 14 day window from last being in China.
    • If any individual member of the crew meets these requirements, the entire crew will be treated as requiring the 14 day quarantine period.

     

    Information from Ports Australia indicate the scenario that if crew have been at sea for 14 days before arriving on our shores, then the coronavirus is deemed to be no longer a threat.
    For example, if a vessel heads from mainland China to Australia and the voyage takes 12 days, then the vessel will have to sit offshore for 2 days before a pilot will meet them.
    We understand that Ports Australia have been working with government officials (Health, ABF and Agriculture) and that a formal advice will soon be released.
     

    We will continue to monitor this situation & keep you informed of further updates.

    Should there be any further information required, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 814 743, or e-mail .

     

     

    Latest updates – 3rd February

    Over the weekend (Saturday 1st February 2020), Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has applied DFAT’s recommended border measures, which include heightened restrictions for entering Australia from mainland China.

    The level four “do not travel” advice warning also recommends Australians do not travel to China.
     
    DFAT had recommended the implementation of additional border measures, which would deny entry to Australia for people who have left or transited through mainland China from today. Exceptions will be made for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, as well as air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment.

     

    Qantas has confirmed that they will suspend their two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from 9th February until 29th March 2020. This follows entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States, which impact the movement of crew who work across the Qantas International network.
    There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong as it’s exempt from current travel restrictions.

    For the full notice – refer to QANTAS UPDATE ON CHINA SERVICES

     

    Noting that the majority of airfreight to and from Australia is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft, which will have a major impact on the movement of any airfreight & courier volumes between China & Australia.

    It indicated that airfreight would be limited, and therefore pricing would climb. It is even warned that global warehousing will come under strain as companies look to build up inventory.

    At this stage Cargo flights will be expected back into China during the latter part of February once the factories start-up again.

     

    Supply chains would be affected as truckers, warehouse staff, cargo handlers, manufacturing staff would not be able to return to work for longer than expected.

    Points of interest:

    • February 3rd – more than 2,000 new overnight confirmed infections, bringing the total to 14,557, as the overall death toll passed 300. According to a study published on Saturdayby scientists from the University of Hong Kong, the virus may have infected as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
    • Chinese New Year Holidays extended until 2nd February to prevent mass movement of citizens. Shanghai, Suzhou, Guangdong Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province, and Yunnan Province extended until 9th February. Other provinces and cities likely to extend this further; Chongqing municipality announced that non-essential enterprises in the administrative area will remain closed till 9th February.
    • Jiangxi Province, Shandong Province, and Anhui Province are delaying resumption of work for non-essential enterprises to February 9. Hubei Province announced that enterprises in the province will be closed till 13th February.
    • Chinese staff may not be able to return to work immediately.
    • Serious interruptions and cancellations of transport reported across China, expect this to continue for the next two weeks.
    • China’s financial regulators have prepared an emergency package, including an RMB 1.2 trillion (US$173 billion) boost of liquidity, to support companies and markets as they brace for a sharp stock sell-off on Monday in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, according the Financial Times.
    • UK withdrawing staff from China Embassies.
    • British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and American Airlines, along with numerous other airlines have suspended flights to China. Whilst United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air Canada are amongst the other airlines that had already announced plans to reduce flight numbers. Italy has also suspended flights to China.
    • Air New Zealand suspends flights to Shanghai until 29th March.
    • All direct flights to China from Russia halted from 9 pm GMT on Friday, except the national airline, Aeroflot.
    • US issues travel ban on all foreign nationals arriving in the country who have visited China in the past 14 days – will not permit entry. Returning US citizens to be quarantined for two weeks.

     

    Update on Special work arrangements, China and HK Offices due to Novel Coronavirus

     

    According to China Central and Local Government notice issued, it is advised that all companies to extend the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Hence, our China and Hong Kong offices will resume normal operation as below –

    Office

    Resume Operation Date

    Chongqing

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Dalian

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Fuzhou

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Hong Kong

    03 Feb 2020 Mon

    Ningbo

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Nanjing

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Qingdao

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Shanghai

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Shenzhen

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Tianjin

    03 Feb 2020 Mon

    Wuhan

    Work at home until further notice from local Government

    Xiamen

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

    Zhongshan

    10 Feb 2020 Mon

     

    Majority of senior staff from all our China offices will be working from home over the extended , and we are in communication where necessary for the continued movement of current & pending shipments.

     

    We will be continuing to work with any effected customers regarding shipments currently underway, and/or due into Australia over the extended, as well as pending movements/orders.

    FYI – It is expected with the delayed return of the workforce for the majority of China businesses, that new shipments will be postponed, with space tightening once manufacturing returns to full or even partial production.

     

    We will continue to monitoring and notifying any customers regarding delays this may cause to vessels, and/or container retrievals/deliveries at each location, which will impact shipment deliveries.

    Should there be any further information required, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 814 743, or e-mail