Businesses across the globe have been feeling the significant impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. Over the last few months, we have seen huge shifts in a number of different sectors. One industry that has also been greatly affected is global shipping. From reduced courier capacity to the increase in digital solutions, there have been many changes.
Prosperity within the shipping sector has been tied to China for many years, as it is a major trade partner for a number of different countries. However, the slump in demand for items from there has had a ripple effect.
Speaking earlier on in the year, VesselsValue’s chief operating officer Adrian Economakis stated, “the reason that coronavirus is having particularly horrendous effects on the shipping industry is its relationship with China. China really is the driver of the shipping industry. We are so dependent on Chinese demand and also Chinese exports, so demand for raw material, exports of a finished product for driving cargo volumes and cargo demands.”
So, just how has Covid-19 impacted international shipping?
Global mail slowdown
Due to lack of transport and foreign postal service suspensions, many postal services have experienced huge difficulties in getting their parcels and letters to different countries across the globe. Countries that are struggling include South Africa, Qatar, Argentina, and Egypt.
Because of huge outbreaks of coronavirus in areas such as Spain, Italy, and France, these countries are also operating differently, at a much slower pace.
Reduced air freight
Airlines such as British Airways and Qantas suspended up to 90% of their passenger routes at the beginning of the pandemic. Air freight dropped to a significant low, but now that Chinese manufacturing has started to pick up again, there has been a growing demand for it. To try and keep some form of operations running, airlines such as Virgin have started to use passenger planes for cargo flights.
Reduced courier capacity
Huge courier names have also been hit hard by the pandemic. Signature-on-delivery services have had to suspend, and many couriers have had to enforce temporary emergency surcharges so that they can continue to ship items during this difficult time.
If you’re looking for some tips on how to manage your shipping during this period, it’s essential that you communicate directly with your suppliers to stay on top of any changes, notify your clients in case of delays, and use express courier services to guarantee that your items will arrive at a much faster rate.