Latest Update on COVID-19 Virus Situation as of May 25, 2020
Century is closely monitoring the developments and impacts of the COVID-19 Virus. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our employees at all our global offices. With the WHO declaring the current outbreak as a pandemic, we have updated this page to provide a global view, with more detailed information for specific regions based on the severity of the impact to the supply chains. As the situation continues to evolve daily, we will continue to report on the latest updates and any impacts on operations.
Key changes to the situation are as follows:
Please note that we have updated the structure of this page to present the information by region – North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. A visualization of our assessment of the port and airport situations throughout North America, LATAM, Europe, Asia Pacific, as well as the operating status of our warehouses throughout the region has been included. Latest updates for China will be included under Asia, with a separate link provided for more detailed information, including ongoing government measures relevant to supply chain.
- As of May 25th, 2020, the following 29 states in the United States have lifted the stay-at-home order and allowed some non-essential business to re-open: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin. All of the states are taking a phased approach and will require businesses to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- The US-Canada border closures have been extended through June 21st, 2020 as both countries continue to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions ban any nonessential travel between the two countries, tourist and cross-border visits will be prohibited. However, the flow of trade and commerce will continue to be exempted.
- Argentina has further extended its lockdown measures through June 7th, 2020, for its capital Buenos Aires after the city experienced an increase of confirmed coronavirus cases. Traffic controls between the capital and Buenos Aires province will be tightened and access to public transportation will be reduced in an effort to contain the virus.
- On May 20th, 2020, the mayor of Mexico City announced plans to begin gradual reopening on June 1st, 2020. Some sectors of the economy would be allowed to resume operations at the start of June like bicycle sales and beer production, but social distancing measures would continue to be implemented through June 15th. Currently, Mexico has eased the nationwide lockdown and the federal government has approved some industries to return to work, including construction, mining, and automotive manufacturing.
- Our local staff in Mexico has reported that terminal companies at Mexico sea port terminals including Altamira, Veracruz, and Manzanillo are operating with limited manpower and reduced hours of service. Although the ports are still open for navigation, operations are very slow due to labor shortage. Air cargo space is limited as only limited flights are operating.
- Peru has extended the state of emergency for the fifth time through June 30th, 2020 to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The latest extension will allow certain business sectors to reopen, including household appliance sales, hair salons, and dental services. Beginning on May 25th, 2020, the mandatory nightly curfew hours will be reduced to 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in Lima and many parts of the country. For Ancash, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Tumbes, and the Ucayali region, a separate curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. The all-day Sunday curfew will continue through Peru during the extended state of emergency period.
- As of May 25th, 2020. The lockdown measures in Spain have eased and Madrid and Barcelona regions have moved into the first phase of Spain’s four-phase deconfinement programme. Residents can now gather in groups of up to ten but social distancing measures will remain in place while masks will be mandatory in public spaces. The government also plans to reopen the borders to foreign tourists in July.
- Japan is expected to lift the state of emergency in all of the prefectures and allow businesses to gradually resume business as infection rates fall. The government is expected to make an official announcement on May 25th, 2020.
- Beginning May 26th, 2020, Sri Lanka will ease the curfew imposed on all 25 districts including Colombo and Gampaha to 10 p.m. through 4 a.m. until further notice. Traveling between Gampaha and Colombo districts will not be permitted unless a valid curfew pass is in place. Under the current situation, Century’s Sri Lanka office has made arrangements to work remotely, activating our BCP for these scenarios with only key personnel attending the office. Most of the factories have resumed operations but no significant output is expected as of now under the current situation. Please expect a delay in production and delivery. Trucking services have been improved in comparison to previous weeks but have yet to be stabilized.
Global Origin Operating Status
Our global teams continue to update shipment statuses through VMS®, and will keep you posted accordingly should there be any impact to the movement of your cargo. If you have any questions or require additional information at any time, please reach out to your Account Manager.
In light of the global spread of COVID-19, Century’s teams based in the US, Europe, South America, and parts of Asia will be working from home as a precautionary measure until further notice. In order to maintain normal operation and communication, Century has successfully run a BCP test and made sure that all of our employees are equipped with necessary tools to perform their duties remotely. While all channels of communication with your support teams remain open, please contact your Account Manager should you require additional information or assistance.
Please see below key supply chain impacts by region.
On April 18th, 2020, the United States and Canada agreed to keep their shared borders shut for another 30 days through May 20th. Both nations previously confirmed that commercial activities and trade will not be affected by the border closure.
Similarly, the US-Mexico border was partially closed on March 20th, 2020; however, essential travels, such as, traveling for medical purposes, attending school or engaging in trade are still permitted. Relevant authorities have confirmed that commercial commerce and trade will not be affected.
Please refer to the below visualization of Century’s assessment of the situation at the various ports throughout North America, as well as the operating status of each of our warehouses in the region.
Canada has announced on March 16th, 2020 the new measures being implemented by the federal government in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Among those measures, Canada will deny entry to non-citizens and non-permanent residents, with an exception for U.S. citizens, aircrews, diplomats, and immediate family members of Canadians.
The provinces of Ontario and British Columbia have extended the state of emergency as part of their COVID-19 response. As of May 12th, 2020, the Ontario government has extended its state of emergency until June 2, while the British Colombia government announced on May 13th, 2020, the extension of the state of emergency for two more weeks.
Air Cargo: The government is also restricting international flights to four airports (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver). On April 21st, 2020, Air Canada announced that it will suspend scheduled transborder flights after April 26th. The airline currently expects to resume its service to the U.S. from May 22nd.
Trucking: Effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 15th, 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is temporarily adjusting its service hours at a number of low-traffic border crossings with the US in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. These border crossings normally open 24 hours a day will close earlier. The statement released by CBSA reassured that “Economic supply chains and trade will remain open. As such, these changes should not affect commercial traffic.”
United States of America
On March 11th, 2020, President Trump announced a travel ban into the United States for all visitors from Europe, effective for 30 days from Friday, March 13th, 2020. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that the travel restriction will not affect or slow down cargo movements. According to a conference call on March 17th, 2020, the American Trucking Association (ATA) does not foresee any disruption in commercial traffic between Canada, US and Mexico.
States in the U.S. have issued statewide “stay-at-home” order, asking citizens to stay home and avoid unnecessary outings. The “stay-at-home” order not only restricts the movements of the public and mandates work from home arrangements but also commands non-essential businesses to close. Currently, the “state-at-home” orders are in place in the following 8 states: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington.
As of May 25th, 2020, the following 29 states in the United States have lifted the stay-at-home order and allowed some non-essential business to re-open: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin. All of the states are taking a phased approach and will require businesses to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Century Office: Since the State of Virginia extended its “stay-at-home” order through June 10th, all Century staff located in our headquarter in Richmond, Virginia, will continue to work from home. As our BCP has prepared us for such scenarios, we confirm that there is no impact to our operations.
Air Cargo: New York is one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic resulting in dramatically falling travel demand. Major carriers are responding with reducing or halting service in the area completely. United Airlines is down to 17 daily departures on its schedule but will still continue to operate to keep New York city connected and cargo moving.
- Throughout March, the Port of Long Beach continued to experience declined volume with more cancelled sailings and a reduction in cargo containers shipped. Concerns over the coronavirus resulted in 19 cancelled sailings to the Port of Long Beach in Q1 2020, which represents a 6.9% decline YoY.
- The United States allows vessels that have passed through Chinese ports in the last 14 days into ports provided that the crew are healthy. However, crew members having visited major virus-impacted countries must stay on the vessels until they have been fully vetted.
- Due to recent impact of COVID-19 and low cargo volumes, some terminals in the United States are subject to gate closure based on the weekly volumes. These include Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company, Port of Baltimore Container Terminal, Port of Long Beach Pier A, and Port of Los Angeles APM Terminal. Various terminals will also be closed for Good Friday on April 10th.
- Effective May 4th, the Portsmouth Marine Terminal at the Port of Virginia, United States, will be closed until further notice due to dropping shipping volumes.
- The Garden City Terminal in Savannah will be closed to truck traffic for the next four Saturdays because many retailers and factories are closed to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Georgia Ports Authority executive director Griff Lynch said that “Saturdays are by far the slowest in the terminal, so eliminating truck hours would have minimal impact on beneficial cargo owners (BCOs).” The port doesn’t operate on Sundays.
- The Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore will be closed from March 30 -31. The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) said the closures were triggered by the production slowdown in China linked to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as current declines in international container volumes. According to a tweet from Ports America Chesapeake, “Food, goods, medical supplies, and medicine are continuing to come through Seagirt Marine Terminal each day, keeping distribution center inventories strong.”
- At Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in California, ports are only allowing carriers to bring back empty containers on specific days or time slots. On top of this restriction, carriers need to have a dual transaction, meaning they must have a pickup appointment for another container in order to drop off an empty. This is causing a backup in returning empties, which has led to additional chassis rental days.
- Effective March 24th, 2020, terminal operators in the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland will adjust their second-shift operating hours to provide time to disinfect terminal equipment between shifts. Until further notice, truck gate-in hours for the evening shift will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 a.m. Terminal operators and the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA) indicated the slight revision in the night shift hours should not result in operational disruptions at the ports. Please note that some shifts continue to be cut due to blank sailings.
- On March 25th, 2020, the Port of Virginia received its first import of coronavirus tests and medical supplies. It is scheduled to receive three more containers this week, according to officials. A new critical cargo initiative was created to quickly move in-demand supplies from ships to their final destinations. These supplies include personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical industry, testing kits, and hand sanitizer.
- The US-Canada border closures have been extended through June 21st, 2020 as both countries continue to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions ban any nonessential travel between the two countries, tourist and cross-border visits will be prohibited. However, the flow of trade and commerce will continue to be exempted.
- Our US team has reported that trucking operations remains as usual with possible delays in Seattle, Portland, Pendleton and Missoula due to heavy snowfall and gusty winds developed in the Cascades, Blue Mountain, and northern Rockies.
- The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended the hours of service emergency declaration through May 15th, which applies to drivers in all 50 states who are transporting emergency supplies during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Spot rates for domestic trucking in the US have climbed significantly, as retailers race to restock shelves amidst consumer panic buying. The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) is at just over 12,483, which is the highest point in its 3-year history.
- As more US states begin to lift the stay-at-home orders and reopen businesses, demand for container import has increased. According to the Freightos Baltic Index, spot rates from China to the U.S. West Coast have increased 33% between Feb 28 and May 14.
- Per an executive order signed by President Trump in order to provide some relief for the challenges posed by COVID-19, some U.S importers will be able to defer payments for goods imported in March and April, Sstarting from April 20th, 2020, for 90 days. This will apply only to those importers that have been severely impacted by the pandemic situation. It is expected that customs brokers will be working with importers to determine eligibility. the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will allow U.S. importers of certain goods to postpone payments of duties, taxes, and fees in light of the current COVID-19 situation.
- To keep trade flows open in the global fight against COVID-19, port authorities in 20 counties from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America have signed an agreement. The declaration was first initiated by Singapore and calls for port authorities to collaborate and work together to ensure that port operations can remain undisrupted for safe handling of cargoes and keep the global supply chain going.
- On March 26th, 2020, The United States Coast Guard (USCG) released a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB Number: 09-20) that discussed the agency’s position on vessel inspections, exams, and documentation during the coronavirus pandemic. The notice refines USCG rules for vessels inspections calling for US ports. https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/MSIB%2009-20.pdf
- On March 27th, 2020, The United States Coast Guard released another Marine Safety Information Bullet (MSIB Number: 11-20) that provides further clarification on essential infrastructure workers to protect the uninterrupted flow of commerce. https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/MSIB/2020/MSIB-11-20-Identification-of-Essential-Maritime-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers.pdf?ver=2020-03-27-152710-577
- On March 30th, 2020, the OCEMA (Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association) issued a press release highlighting the importance of imports being pulled off terminals and unloaded in order to protect maritime and inland network fluidity. Keeping distributions centers and warehouses open and turning intermodal equipment is essential in this effort.
- The Port of Seattle will provide rent relief for tenants and customers throughout its maritime and landside properties, including office, retail, and restaurants, along with recreational and commercial moorage. For businesses impacted by COVID-19, their rent payments and other port fees from April through July will be deferred for four months. As for vessel moorage customers, the Port will defer moorage payments and other fees from April through June for three months.
- On April 16th, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump announced “Opening up America Again”, a guideline outlining plans for states to gradually ease their lockdowns in three phases. Under phase one, large venues such as restaurants, places of worship and sport venues will be able to “operate under strict physical distancing protocols”. Going forward, phase two allows Americans to travel for leisure and non-essential purposes, and schools and bars to reopen “with diminished standing-room occupancy.” Finally, under phase three, states with a downward trend of coronavirus cases can allow “public interactions” with social distancing and unrestricted staffing of worksites. Specifically, phase three will allow people to visit care homes and hospitals. Bars can also increase their standing room capacity under phase three. With “Opening up America Again” rolled out, state governments will be handling the process themselves, with assistance from the federal government.
- On April 26th, 2020, Governor Cuomo of New York announced a phased plan to restart business activities in the state if there is a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases. From May 15th, the construction and manufacturing industries in upstate New York would be the first to reopen. The state government said it will continue to assess the situation in downstate New York as a reopening of those areas needs “multi-state and regional coordination.”
- On April 16th, 2020, seven Northeastern governors, namely those of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts extended the statewide “stay-at-home” order through May 15th. They formed a joint task force on April 14th to come up with a plan to restart the regional economy in the Northeast. While they have not given a specific timeline of when businesses will reopen and when restrictions will be lifted, their joint goal is to coordinate the reopening of various regions safely and strategically.
- On April 16th, the governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky announced that they will work together to reopen the economy in the Midwest. While details have not been released yet, their joint statement indicated that they will work in a way that “prioritizes our workers’ health” and adopt a “fact-based, data-driven approach” to reopening the regional economy.
- In the United States, it has also been reported that a build-up of empty containers is causing terminal congestion on the West Coast. To alleviate the situation and reposition empties, the 2M Alliance (MSC and Maersk) will be redeploying three large vessels from the Asia-Europe trades onto the transpacific trade lane. Each of the large vessels should be able to take around 6,000 empty TEUs on top of the usual US-outbound cargo load.
- As stated on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, at the moment, “there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods,” so the concern for anything shipped from overseas is low thus far. But with goods shipped domestically, the CDC website says that the coronavirus can “remain viable for hours to days on surfaces from a variety of materials.”
- As of April 20th, United Airlines are also operating 270 cargo-only flights to carry supplies of food and necessities.
Our local team has confirmed that there is no impact on port, transportation, carrier, and warehouse so far.
Please refer to the below visualization of Century’s assessment of the situation at the various ports throughout Latin America, as well as the operating status of each of our warehouses in the region.
Argentina has further extended its lockdown measures through June 7th, 2020, for its capital Buenos Aires after the city experienced an increase of confirmed coronavirus cases. Traffic controls between the capital and Buenos Aires province will be tightened and access to public transportation will be reduced in an effort to contain the virus. Existing bans on schools, large events, and border controls will remain in place nationwide.
Air Cargo: As of April 29th, 2020, Argentina has extended the ban on all commercial passenger flights through September 1st.
On April 22nd, 2020, the Brazilian government announced plans to gradually reopen its economy in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil starting on May 11th, 2020 by relaxing some social distancing measures.
Brazil announced on March 20th, 2020, that all land borders with its neighboring countries will be closed for 14 days, with the exception of Uruguay to the south. As of March 25th, 2020, the vote to strike at Santos port in Brazil has been called off, after the Brazilian union representing 5,000 autonomous dock workers met with government officials to discuss compensation and additional protection for workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
On May 13th, 2020, the Chilean government has ordered a mandatory total quarantine for the capital Santiago to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown will come into force on May 15th, 2020, and residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes.
Following the lockdown implemented in Chile’s capital Santiago, residents in the city and its surrounding areas are only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes. In addition, the Chilean government added that the nationwide curfew from 10 pm to 5 am the next morning will remain in force. Our local staff confirmed that all ports and depots are still operating.
Century’s Office: Our local office is working remotely from home under our BCP for these scenarios.
Ports / Customs: There is no impact to or restrictions on ocean port, customs, and container depots.
Air Cargo: The flow of cargo will be impacted as some airlines (Latam) in Chile have started to cancel international flights (cargo & passengers) as demand collapsed and countries shut down borders due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ports: Our local staff in Chile reported that most ports in the country are maintaining normal operation. As of May 7th, 2020, Angamos Port, Valparaíso Port as well as Lirquen Port are working with normal efficiency. However, ports in Lquique, San Antonio and Coronel are operating with impacted productivity due to reductions in stevedore availability. The berth productivity in Port Antofagasta and Port San Antonio in particular, has reduced by 30% and 15% respectively. As of May 18th, 2020, our staff in Chile reported that the productivity at Antofagasta Port is back to 90% operative level.
On May 20th, 2020, the mayor of Mexico City announced plans to begin gradual reopening on June 1st, 2020. Some sectors of the economy would be allowed to resume operations at the start of June like bicycle sales and beer production, but social distancing measures would continue to be implemented through June 15th. Currently, Mexico has eased the nationwide lockdown and the federal government has approved some industries to return to work, including construction, mining, and automotive manufacturing.
Air Cargo: There are currently no restrictions, but space is limited as only limited flights are operating.
Ports: Our local staff in Mexico has reported that terminal companies at Mexico sea port terminals including Altamira, Veracruz, and Manzanillo are operating with limited manpower and reduced hours of service. Although the ports are still open for navigation, operations are very slow due to labor shortage. Air cargo space is limited as only limited flights are operating.
Peru has extended the state of emergency for the fifth time through June 30th, 2020 to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The latest extension will allow certain business sectors to reopen, including household appliance sales, hair salons, and dental services. Beginning on May 25th, 2020, the mandatory nightly curfew hours will be reduced to 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in Lima and many parts of the country. For Ancash, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Tumbes, and the Ucayali region, a separate curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. The all-day Sunday curfew will continue through Peru during the extended state of emergency period.
Our local staff reported that port operation and international trade in the country are unhampered. The relaxed measures will improve the flow of trucks for entrance and delivery of cargo in ports and terminals.
Century’s Office: Century’s Peru office is working remotely from home under our BCP for these scenarios.
Air Cargo: All international commercial flights to the Peru have been cancelled. Currently, only cargo flights are allowed to land in Lima airport.
Countries and territories across the world have imposed travel restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic. The external border closure in Europe that began on March 17th, 2020, was due to end this week. However, the European Commission has asked its members to extend the external border closure until May 15. Some airlines, like Brussels Airline, have extended flight suspensions until May 15 under the ongoing travel restrictions. Due to the closure of individual country borders, some delays have been reported for cross-border trucking. Most notably, there are trucking queues over 10 km long crossing from Slovakia to Hungary as well as crossing from Hungary to Romania.
Please refer to the below visualization of Century’s assessment of the situation at the various ports throughout Europe, as well as the operating status of each of our warehouses in the region.
As of May 11th, 2020, the nationwide lockdown in France has ended and the country has moved into phase 1 of the lifting of its lockdown. France has been divided into two zones, green and red, based on health indicators. Non-essential businesses, schools, and public transportation have been allowed to resume operation. However, many restrictions such as social distancing rules and the ban on large gatherings will continue to remain in place.
- France’s Orly Airport is closed “from March 31 at 11:30 p.m. until further notice, all flights operated are reassigned to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the airport announced on its website.
- France has halted all international flights between the country and non-Schengen area countries. The announcement was made by the French Transport and Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne on April 21st, 2020 in an ongoing effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
On May 6th, 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions. All restaurants and shops can be reopened as lockdown restrictions are eased. Each state will take control of rolling out the new practices and will operate an “emergency brake” if there is a new surge in infections. Minimum social distance and hygiene rules would continue to apply, and the contact restrictions would remain in force until June 5.
The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) will offer an interest-free deferral of rents and fees for companies in the port sector. Rent and other related payments from April to June will be deferred for three months, to December 31, 2020. HPA’s tenants, maritime shipping companies, island shipping companies and port barge operators will be eligible to apply for deferrals.
- Lufthansa Airlines will be repurposing four of its passenger jets to make room for more cargo. An additional 60 cargo flights with passenger aircraft are planned for next week.
- The German government has announced plans to ease border controls with neighboring states. Germany will end border restrictions with Luxembourg from May 15th, 2020. The border controls with Austria, France, and Switzerland set to expire on May 15th, 2020 have been extended through June 15th, 2020 but will have reduced controls. Instead of constant inspections, random spot checks will be carried out to ease traffic for commuters. Business trips and family visits will be allowed. The government is also planning on easing restrictions with Denmark but is waiting for a decision from the Danish authorities.
As of May 4th, 2020, Italy has eased coronavirus restrictions after a two-month lockdown. The government has given the green light for factories to restart production lines and construction industries to resume business. Restaurants and bars can open for take-aways only, while schools, cinemas, and theatres will remain closed. Italy has implemented phase reopening and will allow retail businesses, museums, exhibitions, and libraries to reopen on May 18. Social distancing measures will remain in place while masks will be mandatory in public spaces.
Italy has closed many airports, including Linate airport in Milan since March to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. On May 20th, 2020, the Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport has announced that all Italian airports will be able to reopen from June 3. This coincides with the date that the Italian government intends to eliminate the 14-day quarantine for people arriving from abroad and open both regional and international borders, which was announced earlier this month.
Century’s Office: Due to the nationwide lockdown in Italy, 80% of our staff are working from home, leveraging our BCP, while the remaining 20% are working in the office. All precautions are being taken to ensure employee health and safety.
Ports: On March 25th, 2020, The Italian Ports Association indicated that ports in Italy are fully operational, and that they are committed to ensuring the safety of cargo and crew members. Ports in Genoa, Livorno, and La Spezia are processing slower than usual due to labor shortage as well.
CFS: As of April 1st, 2020, our staff based in Italy reported that while warehouse services were deemed essential by the government, our warehouses in Genoa, Livorno, and La Spezia are working with impacted productivity due to limited manpower.
Carriers: Carriers are generally beginning to blank sailing from the Far East to Europe.
Air Cargo: Export air freights in Italy are still impacted and rates are at all-time-high for inbound air cargoes.
On May 6th, 2020, the Dutch Prime Minister announced the Netherlands will ease restrictions and allow businesses to reopen in phases. Hairdressers, nail salons, and beauty parlors can reopen on May 11, while restaurants, bars, and movie theaters will reopen on June 1. Social distancing measures will remain in place while masks will be mandatory in public spaces. The Port of Rotterdam reaffirmed that full operations will be maintained at the port.
As of May 19th, 2020, the entry ban in the Netherlands for non-EU citizens, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area has been extended through June 15th, 2020. This restriction was put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Netherlands is in the process of relaxing some of the restrictions previously in place, with some businesses able to reopen while maintaining social distancing requirements.
The state of emergency in Portugal has been lifted and replaced with a state of calamity. The government has announced a three-phased approach to reopening the economy with various measures in place. Restrictions have been eased with local commerce, public services, parks, and hairdressers permitted to reopen for business. However, measures of social distancing and hygiene remain in place.
Century’s Office: 95% of staff are working from home.
- All passenger flights have been cancelled; however, the route between Portugal and Shenzhen will continue to be operational for aid cargoes.
- Century’s Portugal team has reported 90% reduction in flights. Portugal has announced to close all airports from midnight on April 9 until midnight on April 13 and extend the state of emergency until April 17 because of the continuing coronavirus crisis. Airports are closed through Easter except for some cargo flights.
Ports: There are some restrictions, but port operations remain normal with the exception of a port strike in Lisbon.
CFS: Our warehouse in Porto is working at 50% capacity due to labor shortage.
Trucking: As of April 1st, 2020, our staff in Portugal reported that there are minimal delays within Portugal due to difficulty in border crossings.
Carriers: Vessels are mainly on schedule with small delays.
As of May 25th, 2020. The lockdown measures in Spain have eased and Madrid and Barcelona regions have moved into the first phase of Spain’s four-phase deconfinement programme. Residents can now gather in groups of up to ten but social distancing measures will remain in place while masks will be mandatory in public spaces. The government also plans to reopen the borders to foreign tourists in July.
Trucking: The closure of land borders between Portugal and Spain will be prolonged at least until May 15th, 2020. However, transportation of goods and cross-border workers will be exempted.
Turkey has announced it will ease lockdown measures starting on May 11th, 2020. Shopping centers, hairdressers, and beauty salons will be allowed to reopen under the guidelines of physical distancing. Also, Domestic travel restrictions will be lifted in seven low-risk cities, namely Antalya, Aydin, Erzurum, Hatay, Malatya, and Mugla. However, the lockdown on other major cities, including Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir will continue.
Century’s Office: Our team in Turkey is working from home with flexible working hours under our BCP.
- Turkish government banned flights outside the country, all international flights will be barred from landing in the country. There is a noticeable slow down on air cargo.
- Turkish Airlines has further extended the temporary suspensions of all domestic flights until June 4th, 2020, while international flights are suspended until June 10th, 2020.
- Turkish Airlines has stopped all international service until May 1, after the Turkish government banned flights outside the country during that period. Various airlines or cargo flight operators have reduced services or have suspended flights to certain destinations or carry only up to hub airports.
Ports/ CFS / Carrier / Trucking: Our local office has confirmed that there is no impact on ports, CFS, Carrier, and Trucking operations.
On May 10th, 2020, the British Prime Minister announced that the nationwide lockdown will stay in force until at least June 1st. The British government added that this week, they will release a more detailed plan on how they will gradually ease the lockdown measures.
Century’s Office: Staff in our local office will be working from home following government’s suggestions.
Air Cargo: As of April 1st, a ban of passenger flights from landing in the United Kingdom through April 14th was reported by our local staff. Spaces are also limited on cargo flights and have led to inflated air freight rates.
Ports: Ports are currently working at normal capacity. However, we do expect over the coming weeks that with reduced labor, operations may slow down, thereby increasing the average discharge times of containers from vessels. Port agencies such as Port Health & Customs are also likely to be impacted, delaying cargoes that require additional checks.
CFS: Warehouses have reduced staffing levels in line with Government regulations to maintain safe distance between individuals. Most are operating but are slower than normal.
Carriers: Currently carrier schedules are being maintained although some liners (Maersk/CMA) are starting to blank sail Far East to Europe due to reduced volumes.
Trucking: Domestically, trucks are running as normal and rates remain consistent with pre-COVID-19 levels.
As of May 11th, 2020, the current lock-down imposed on the Governorate of Muscat, Oman, has been extended until May 29th, 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. Previously announced movement restriction into and out of the Governorate of Muscat will continue to be prohibited, and all internal movement within the governorate will be restricted. However, the movement of trucks carrying food and medical supplies will be exempt.
Oman’s Ministry of Transport announced an extension of free storage for shipments to the cargo terminal of Muscat International Airport. The new free period for general cargo has been increased from 48 hours to 96 hours, whereas the new free period for perishable cargo and dangerous goods has been increased from 24 hours to 72 hours. These changes will be in place through May 15th.
Century Office: As of April 9th, 2020, our local office maintain operation at the office.
Century Office: Most staff are working from home activating our BCP for these scenarios. No internal or external face-to-face meetings are allowed.
Air Cargo: There is a ban on passenger flights until April 14th. Space is limited on cargo flights leading to inflated air freight rates.
Ports / CFS: Ports and CFS remain operational but have implemented worker shift management to limit human contact.
Carriers: More blank sailings for April driving higher ocean rates.
Trucking: Maintain normal operations.
United Arab Emirates
Century Office: As of April 9th, 2020, our local office maintain operation at the office. We may adapt to work from home remotely if situation arises activating our BCP for these scenarios.
Air Cargo: As of April 6th, 2020, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest carriers, have resumed limited passenger flights two weeks after the Gulf state halted all flights to and from the country in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Our local team has confirmed that there is no impact on port, transportation, carrier, and warehouse so far.
Please refer to the below visualization of Century’s assessment of the situation at the various ports throughout Asia Pacific, as well as the operating status of each of our warehouses in the region.
Most of Australia is effectively in lockdown, with a number of states having introduced new regulations to keep people at home. The Australian government has tightened physical distancing restrictions, but how they are applied will be determined by each state.
Effective from March 20th 9 p.m., Australia has closed the country’s border to all non-Australian nationals, in effort to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19. Only essential services remain operating and freight and logistics are considered as essential.
Century Office: Our local office is working remotely from home under BCP for such scenarios.
Air Cargo: The flow of air cargo has been impacted due to limited air space. While the travel ban will not apply to direct family of Australian citizens and residents, everyone returning to Australia will be subject to two weeks isolation upon their arrival. Previously, Tasmania has closed the border to citizens arriving from the mainland.
- As of March 18th, 2020, Maritime Safety Queensland, announced that commercial ships will be banned from entering ports in Queensland, Australia if the ship or anyone onboard has been in any country outside of Australia in the past two weeks.
- Similar measures are also being taken by Port Authority of New South Wales and Southern Ports, where ships are barred from entering ports of Albany, Bunbury and Esperance until 14 days of isolation have elapsed from the last port of call.
Customs / Trucking: Our local office has confirmed that there is no impact on customs and trucking operations.
The ongoing lockdown in Bangladesh has been officially extended through May 30th due to the rise of confirmed coronavirus cases. The, lockdown, which the government has referred to as general holiday, was previously extended several times. Some curbs have been eased, such as allowing factories to reopen.
The government is currently referring to the nationwide shutdown as a general holiday, however, the government indicated that the latest prolonged lockdown measures should not be regarded as an extension of a general holiday. A formal announcement will be made on April 23rd, 2020 to outline new directives should there be any. All public and private sectors will continue to remain closed during the lockdown period.
On April 16th, the government of Bangladesh declared that the entire country is at risks due to the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the government has ordered the public to stay at home, prohibited interstate travels, and imposed a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am the next morning.
Carriers, CFS, customs and truckers are operating with limited manpower. Please expect delays in releasing OBL/Surrendered BL by some Carrier/NVOCC due to the general holiday. We will reach out to your vendors to follow carrier’s instructions.
Century Office: Local Century staff in Bangladesh will continue to work from home under government directives and leveraging our BCP for such scenarios. Our office will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and will be working from home until the general holiday (lockdown) is withdrawn by the government. Please expect delay in Documents scanning/update though the team will endeavor to keep operation running as smoothly as possible under the situation.
Air Cargo: As of May 18th, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has extended the ban on commercial passenger flights from/ to all countries, except China, through May 30th. CAAB added that domestic routes will also remain suspended through May 30th. However, cargo, air ambulance, and relief carrying flights will be exempt.
- As of April 2nd, 2020, the ongoing congestion at Chittagong Port, Bangladesh has become more severe due to the country’s prolonged shutdown. Our local staff reported that some vessels were not able to berth at the port as no yard space is available at the moment. Furthermore, transport of containers to Dhaka ICD through railway has been suspended as the ICD has reached capacity. As of April 22nd, 2020, the congestion still remains at Chittagong Port in Bangladesh. Our local staff reported that the chairman of Chittagong Port Authority has requested all shipping lines and agents to issue delivery orders to importers with extended working hours to ease the yard congestion. Moreover, the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association also called for waiving berth occupancy charges for overstaying cargoes. Besides, CFS and off-dock CY are empty now as most factories across Bangladesh were closed during the lockdown period. As reefer plugs at container yards at ports are already being occupied, carriers are having to divert the reefer cargo to other ports, which may result in additional costs.
- As of April 24th, 2020, the Chittagong Port Authority and the government of Bangladesh have released more details to clear the severe congestion at Chittagong Port. All types of imported containers can now be shifted and stored at private land depots through June 30th. Under normal conditions, only limited types of imported containers are allowed to be directly shifted to the ICDs.
- As the Bangladesh government has extended the national holiday as lockdown measures recently, the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has exempted the port storage fees for delivery of imported goods within the holiday period.
- To reduce container congestion, Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) will waive store rent for readymade garment manufacturers if the containers are taken release from port yards by May 4th.
- As of May 18th, 2020, a congestion has been reported at private ICDs in Bangladesh, after the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) asked its tenants to shift their containers to private off-docks in hopes of clearing some space at Chattogram Port.
CFS / Customs:
- As of April 8th, 2020, our local staff in Bangladesh reported that customs are working with limited staff to perform customs assessment for import container clearance from 10 am to 4 pm.
- CFS Off-docks are empty and there are very few cargo movements as all factories remain closed under the lockdown.
- Bangladesh Customs Authorities have agreed to shift a further six types of goods (on top of existing 38 commodities) in containers to private off-docks in a bid to reduce the number of containers in Chittagong’s yards. New items that can go through the off-docks are seeds, fiber, block listed products of drug manufacturers, imported thread, insecticide, fungicides and herbicides, and tire cords. According to officials, the newly allowed items may account for 9% or some 5,000 TEUs at the port’s yards.
- The Board of Revenue (NBR) has instructed Customs house officials to keep the office open for full hours maintaining COVID-19 safety measures so that importers and exporters can continue normal delivery and operation.
Trucking: Our local staff has reported that although logistics personnel are waived, transportation is available with limited capacity as drivers are reluctant to go out of home due to own safety measures.
Factories: On April 26th, 2020, apparel factories in Bangladesh has been allowed to resume operation. As the country is currently under a nationwide lockdown through May 5th, factories would re-open on a limited scale, in phases and zone to ensure worker’s safety. Our teams will continue to keep you updated on potential shipment delays or factory operating statuses as applicable.
The one-week travel ban imposed by the Cambodian government on April 9th, 2020 has been lifted. Travel between provinces was banned due to concerns of garment workers disobeying orders to work through Khmer New Year.
On May 20th, 2020, Cambodia has lifted the entry ban on foreign travelers into the country from France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Spain, and the United States. Foreign travelers must provide a medical certificate no more than 72 hours before the date of travel certifying that he/she has not tested positive for COVID-19 and provide proof of insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $50,000 for the duration of the stay. Also, 14 days quarantine after arrival at a government-designated place and testing for the coronavirus is required.
Century Office: Starting from March 30th, 2020, 50% of staff members in our office in Cambodia will be working from home as a precautionary measure.
Air Cargo: As of May 5th, 2020, a few regional airlines have resumed flights to Cambodia. Although not full schedule, Cambodia Angkor Air, China Air, and Eva Air have reinstated air routes to Phnom Penh International Airport this month. Other major airlines have also scheduled flights to resume in June and July and these include Qatar Airways Airways, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, and Emirates. Foreign visitors will continue to be required to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival.
- On March 25th, 2020, our local offices in Vietnam and Cambodia have both confirmed that while the quarantine measures still apply for people travelling across their shared border, the countries have agreed on an arrangement to allow cross-border cargo movements to continue.
- Under this arrangement, cargo will be transferred from a Vietnamese-based truck (with a Vietnamese-based driver) to that of a Cambodian-based truck (with a Cambodian-based driver), and vice versa, so that there is no crossing of borders by the truck drivers. However, please note that a congestion has been reported at border due to cargo fumigation and the time needed to unload and reload the cargo from one truck to the other.
Ports / CFS / Customs: No impact has been reported on ports, CFS, and customs operations.
Other Information: As Cambodia has kept the coronavirus under control, The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia has lifted the ban and requirement for permission from the Ministry of Health to export all types of masks. As international garment order has dried up, many factories in Cambodia have started to produce masks to fill the increasing demands in countries such as the United States, Australia, and Germany.
China is gradually relaxing previous lockdown measures and key supply chain infrastructure, including port, terminal, and trucking operations, have returned to normal.
From midnight, April 8th, 2020, the lockdown measures at the coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan, China have officially ended. The Wuhan Airport, Port of Wuhan, railways and road transportation have fully resumed operations. More businesses are expected to reopen and individuals with green “health codes” that prove their health status are able to return to work. Authorities said the management of residential compounds would “continue to be strengthened” and recommended that residents only leave the city or Hubei province for essential purposes.
On March 24th, 2020, local authorities of Hubei province the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has announced to lift outbound travel restrictions on April 8th, 2020. However, the ease of restriction will only apply to travelers with a “green code” on mobile phone application designed to track the movements and health status of China’s population. Authorities said business operations would resume but gave no timetable.
As of March 26th, 2020, China has announced a travel ban on all foreign nationals due to the increasing number of imported cases of COVID-19 in China. Effective from midnight, March 28th, all foreign visitors will be denied entry to China. Exceptions will be given to people traveling to China for business activities, as well as individuals with diplomatic, service, and courtesy visas. Additionally, C Visas issued to crewmembers working on board of international trains, airliners or vessels will not be affected by the travel ban.
As of April 10th, 2020, China has tightened export measures on medical supplies to ensure quality control. The new measures are a response to complaints from several countries about the faulty and substandard medical supplies. Domestic certification, as well as foreign licenses for medical supplies shipped abroad, are required, and the products will be subject to a mandatory quality inspection by China Customs, which could lengthen the approval process for shipments by days or weeks.
We have kept only the latest developments in China on this page. For more information regarding the operating status in China, including ongoing government measures relevant to supply chain, please visit https://www.cds-net.com/novel-coronavirus-china-operating-status/.
Air Cargo: All airports are operating as usual. However, oversea airlines have suspended most passenger flights to/from China.
Ports: As of March 20th, 2020, Chinese ports, such as Shanghai, Fuzhou and Zhoushan (Ningbo) have reportedly tightened the quarantine control for crew members on board. If crew members who have been to “high-risk” countries would like to disembark the vessel and enter China, they will need to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility. Our local office has confirmed that this measure will not impact load or unload operations at ports. The quarantine measures will apply to individuals who have been to the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, or the US.
Trucking: Trucking Companies have reported that capacity has resumed. Previous holiday extension for Wuhan is officially over. With the situation gradually improving, previous restrictions of travelling outside of Wuhan has been lifted and trucks can have access to terminals and container depots.
Other Operations: Carriers, terminals, container depots and customs are working with limited manpower and lowered productivity. While people are still prohibited from going out, application for work resumption is now open but will be subject to government’s approval.
The Hong Kong government announced on May 19th, 2020 that the social distancing rules prohibiting gatherings of more than eight people in public has been extended for 14 days through June 4th, 2020.
As of April 7th, 2020, Hong Kong has extended its travel ban on non-Hong Kong residents and will continue to keep in place quarantine measures, as well as its suspension of all transit flights “until further notice” amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.
On April 28th, 2020, the Hong Kong government extended the mandatory quarantine for all inbound travelers from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan for another month through June 7th. Exemptions will be made for cross-boundary students and individuals coming to Hong Kong to engage in business activities or perform essential services.
As of April 29th, 2020, all non-Hong Kong residents arriving in the city by plane from any overseas countries will be denied entry. All Hong Kong citizens returning from abroad will be tested at the airport upon arrival and subject to a 14-day mandatory home quarantine.
Century Office: Our local Hong Kong office is working remotely from home activating our BCP for these scenarios.
Trucking:The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced on April 8th, 2020, that it would bear the cost of test involved for Hong Kong cross-border goods vehicle drivers to meet the two Mainland cities’ new pandemic request. Starting from April 10, the Shenzhen Municipal Government will require all cross-border goods vehicle drivers who enter the city via its ports to present the “i Shenzhen” health certification code to Shenzhen customs officers for examination before entry. They should also present proof of a negative result for a nucleic acid test conducted within the previous seven days.
On May 18th, 2020, India extended its relaxed nationwide lockdown through May 31st, requiring citizens to stay home as much as possible during the lockdown period. Following a government announcement issued on May 1st, districts in the country will be classified into Red, Orange and Green Zones. While offices can operate with limited occupancy in all Zones, non-essential businesses and public transportation in Red Zones will be strictly prohibited. As for Orange Zones and Green Zones, e-Commerce activities and public transportation will be partially permitted. Our local office continues to work from home, leveraging our BCP for such scenarios.
On April 15th, 2020, India announced plans towards the resumption of normal economic activity amid the nationwide lockdown. Several industries, including logistics and factories, are permitted to resume operation after April 20 in areas not impacted by COVID-19. The government will also lift restrictions to permit cargo movement through roads and railways, including loading and unloading at major ports. Highway dhabas (small roadside restuarants) will be allowed to open, and the movement of trucks will be permitted.
As of April 20th, 2020, the Indian government has started easing the lockdown measures, allowing a number of businesses to resume operations. While schools, places of worship and entertainment venues will stay closed, bank tellers, truckers, and those working in sectors that provide essential services can go back to work.
Century Office: After the lockdown in India ends on May 17th, 2020, some of our offices falling under the green zone will be able to re-open. The green zones are districts with either zero confirmed cases to date or no confirmed case in the last 21 days. Some of our staff will continue to work from home leveraging our BCP as public transport remains closed. For staff who will be working from the office, social distancing rules will be followed and precautions will be taken to safeguard employee health.
- As of May 18th, 2020, the ban on all international passenger flights in India has been extended through May 31st, 2020. The Indian Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has however excluded international cargo operations and certain flights which have prior approval from DGCA. Air freight rates are very high as only limited flights are operating.
- After a two-month suspension to curb the spread of the coronavirus, domestic flight operations in India will resume from May 25th, 2020. According to a tweet by the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the recommencement of domestic flights will happen in a calibrated manner, and all airports and airlines are being informed. Standard operating procedures (SOP) guidelines for passenger movement will be issued separately by the Minister of Civil Aviation.
- As of April 20th, 2020, our local staff working from home reported that ports are operating but some are facing congestion challenges due to storage of import containers caused by low availability of trailers/resources, mandated by the lockdown.
- As of April 22nd, 2020, Hazira Port in India is faced with severe congestions due to unmoving cargoes. As a result, the working hours of export gates at the port have been reduced until the congestion in the container yards resolve.
- Our staff reported that ports at Nhava Sheva, Chennai, Tuticorin / Cochin and Kolkata remain operational. On March 24th, 2020, that the Ministry of Shipping has declared the Nhava Sheva port as an essential service. Hence, port operations and transport movement are not to be stopped. Port operation have slowed down and the movement of imports and exports are impacted due to shortage of drivers.
- As of April 8th, 2020, congestion at several ports in Chennai, India was reported as over 50,000 containers are stuck at ports of Chennai, Kamajarar and Kattupalli. Tamil Nadu state police will contact truckers who have returned to their hometowns during the lockdown and bring them back to work to ensure normal operations at ports.
- As of March 24th, 2020, all ports throughout India have tightened their quarantine measures, sending vessels arriving from any ports in China to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. This 14-day period includes the transit time from the vessel’s last call at a Chinese port. While our CFS facilities in Nhava Sheva, Chennai and Delhi remain operational, Nhava Sheva has been impacted due to labor shortages. We have reached out to your vendors to inform them of the operations status of our facilities to ensure awareness.
- On March 26th, 2020, several Indian ports, such as Mundra Port and Dhamra Port, declared force majeure after India’s countrywide lockdown. While the declaration of force majeure does not affect port operations, please note that the liability of any delays, cargo damages, accidents and other unforeseeable events will not fall on the port operator while force majeure is in effect.
- On March 31st, 2020, following several ports declaring force majeure, the Indian government has asked ports across the country not to levy demurrage and other charges for delays and other unexpected operational issues caused by India’s nationwide lockdown until April 14th.
We have reached out to your vendors to inform them of the operations status of our facilities to ensure awareness.
Carriers: While carriers are operating with fewer staff, documentation services have been limited. Only online payments are accepted at the moment. Furthermore, carriers are only issuing SWBs and have stopped issuing OBLs as their counters are closed. We will reach out to your vendors to follow carrier’s instructions.
CFS / Customs:
- Most CFS facilities are at full capacity with Import containers as Importers are unable to clear their cargo. This is also slowing the movement from the ports. Shortage of drivers is the main reason.
- As of April 20th, 2020, our CFS facilities in the country are receiving cargo with some productivity impact, but we are seeing an improvement in the previously reported situation where congestion was being caused by customs house agents being reluctant to perform necessary duties to ensure cargo movement.
Trucking: As of April 20th, our staff reported that the trucking situation has slightly improved with more truckers allowed to go back to work. As of April 22nd, 2020, cargo flow is also improving as air, water and rail shipments have started moving.
Factories: As of April 20th, more factories have resumed operations under government directives. Please expect a partial delay in cargo delivery as some factories will be closed during this time.
Other Information: On April 23rd, 2020, India’s Ministry of Shipping (MoS) issued a statement directing all major ports in the country to consider waiving port-related fees for port users given the prolonged lockdown measures. MoS has suggested interest-free deferment of port fees for April, May, and June at lessee’s or licensee’s request. Furthermore, MoS has also directed ports not to impose any penalty charges, demurrages, detention charges and any performance-related penalties for delays in berthing, loading/ unloading, arrivals or clearance of cargoes during the lockdown period and another 30 days of the recovery period.
On May 19th, 2020, Indonesia has further extended the large-scale social distancing restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta through June 4th, 2020 to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Previous enforced measures such as the ban on gatherings of more than five people, limited public transport services and mandatory work-from-home will be extended to June 4.
Effective from April 23rd, 2020, all passenger travels within Indonesia will be restricted to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during Ramadan. The Transportation Ministry of Indonesia said the ban will apply to all types of public and private transportation by air, sea, land, and railway. While all domestic flights have been cancelled through June 1st, restriction on land and sea transports will remain in place through May 31st and June 8th respectively. Vehicles transporting cargoes and medical supply and vehicles carrying government officials, emergency workers and first responders and will be exempt from the ban.
As a precaution, our local staff in Indonesia will continue to work from home through May 22nd. Our office expects to resume normal operations from May 26th.
As of March 20th, 2020, the Indonesian government announced that free visa, visa-on-arrival, and diplomatic visas will be suspended for a month. Any foreigners to enter Indonesia must re-submit their visa application with a complete health certificate to their local embassies. In addition to temporarily renewing their visa exemption policy, Indonesia will continue to ban travelers who have visited China, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, as well as several cities in Iran and South Korea from entering.
- Under the current situation, while our staff in Indonesia are working remotely through May 22nd under our BCP for such scenarios at the moment. Our office expects to resume normal operations from May 26th.
As the dramatic decline in air traffic caused by COVID-19 continues, airports across Indonesia have reduced operational hours and services, including closing terminals. As of April 24th, 2020 all domestic flights have been suspended through June 1st.
AirAsia Indonesia has announced to resume flights from Surabaya, East Java, to the Malaysian cities of Kuala Lumpur and John Buru on May 18th, 2020. Since April 1, the airline has suspended all scheduled flights due to a lack of passengers as the government advised the public to stay at home and avoid travel.
At the moment, the work from home measures and banning of face-to-face customs services have not had any impact to product flow.
- Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has implemented work from home and shift operation. Import Declaration, front desk, physical check and Manifest are working from 9:00-15:00. Capacity operation has reduced with more than 75% capacity reduction due to flight cancellation.
- Juanda International Airport has banned face-to-face customs service from March 23rd, 2020 but remains full capacity operation.
- Kualanamu International Airport and Hang Nadim Airport remains as usual with protective handling.
Ports / CFS / Customs:
- Port of Tanjung Priok remains as usual but has implemented work from home and social distancing also limiting face-to-face customs service. Work from home is applied for analyzing points for export and import (document checking/verification).
- Port of Tanjung Emas and Port of Balikpapan has banned face-to-face customs service.
- Port of Belawan and Port of Tanjung Perak remains as usual with protective handling.
- On March 24th, 2020, our Indonesia CFS has adjusted their operational hours and cut off time due to COVID-19. New operating hours are Monday to Friday 9:00-16:00. We are informing vendors accordingly.
- As of March 27th, 2020, our staff in Indonesia reported that while ports are operational, Indonesian customs will temporarily suspend face-to-face services at sea and air ports. Custom process will remain as normal, but documents must be submitted online now. The measure above will not apply to customs at factories.
- As of March 30th, 2020, pre-softcopy documents process prior to submitting through Red Lane & Yellow Lane counter was implemented.
Carriers: Carriers are operating but please expect a partial delay with some staff working from home or limiting working hours.
Other Information: The government of Indonesia has moved Idul Fitri leave to December. The four-day Idul Fitri collective leave from May 26th -29th has been pushed back to Dec 28th – 31st, nearing other year-end holidays. Our local office expects that the postponed holiday will affect the cargo delivery at the year-end.
Japan is expected to lift the state of emergency in all of the prefectures and allow businesses to gradually resume business as infection rates fall. The government is expected to make an official announcement on May 25th, 2020.
As of April 27th, 2020, the entry ban and visa restrictions in Japan has been extended until the end of May. Japan has also expanded its entry ban to 14 more countries for a total of 87 nations and territories in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Century Office: We have skeleton staff working in our local office, with the balance working from home.
On May 10th, 2020, the Malaysian government extended the Restricted Movement Order by four weeks through June 9th. The relaxed nationwide lockdown will allow nearly all sectors, expect schools and universities to re-open. Additionally, borders will stay shut during the aforementioned period.
Our local office has confirmed that there is no impact to business at the moment. Transportations, forwarding agents and port operations will remain open and working as usual. However, please expect a partial delay in cargo delivery as factories will be closed during this time.
Century Office: Century’s local team in Malaysia remains operational with 50% of staff working in the office while the remainder work from home. Staff are able to work remotely under our BCP arrangements for such scenarios.
Air Cargo: On April 5th, 2020, local authorities in Malaysia suspended all international flights at Penang International Airport (PIA) until further notice due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, domestic flights will continue to operate as usual. All inbound flights will now land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and passengers will be quarantined upon arrival.
Ports: The congestion in Port Klang, Port of Penang, and Johor Port in Malaysia has been cleared after the local government eased the restriction on cargo movement on March 27th.
As of April 1st, 2020, our staff in Myanmar confirmed that there is no impact on port, transportation, and factories so far.
As of April 14th, 2020, Myanmar has announced restrictions on border crossing through Myanmar-Bangladesh border gates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The flow of goods between Myanmar and Bangladesh would be exempt.
Century Office: The Myanmar government has ordered all companies to make work from home arrangements for at least 50% of their staff every day. As such, our local office in Myanmar has made arrangements for staff to work from home on a rotational basis under government directives. Our BCP has been leveraged for such scenarios.
Air Cargo: As of May 14th, 2020, the Burmese government announced that the suspension of international passenger flights has been extended through May 31st. Following the announcement, the Department of Civil Aviation confirmed that relief, cargo, medical evacuation and specially-approved flights will not be affected by the measure. In addition, as of April 27th, 2020, the Burmese government extended its ban on incoming visitors from all countries into Myanmar through May 15th. The suspension of all types of visas and visa exemptions has been further extended through May 31st, 2020.
Customs / Carriers: Customs and Carriers are operating but please expect a partial delay as they have halved the numbers of staff at work.
Trucking: The Myanmar Government has announced a night curfew in Yangon between 10 pm to 4 am starting April 18th, 2020 until further notice to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Trucks are not allowed on the road during the night curfew, but our local staff has confirmed that there is no impact on trucking/transportation operation at the moment.
As of May 11th, 2020, Pakistan has partially eased its lockdown, allowing the construction sector, most factories, all retail shops and community markets to re-open. While retail shops can open on weekdays, shopping malls and other entertainment venues must stay closed until further notice. Additionally, public transport will also be suspended under government’s directives. On May 10th, 2020, Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and Punjab province extended its relaxed lockdown through May 31st. While Islamabad will allow the construction industry and sectors listed under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to resume business activities, Punjab regional government is allowing small shops in the province to re-open for four days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. All shopping malls, academic institutions, large restaurants and hotels will remain closed in both areas. As of May 18th, as the lockdown is still in place in Sindh province, Pakistan, the local government announced public transport in the province will remain suspended under the directives from the Minister for Transportation.
Previously, the government decided to re-open several industries, including construction, agriculture, and all export industries provided their orders are approved by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
On April 13th, 2020, the Pakistani government announced that the ongoing border closure will be extended by two weeks through April 26th. However, two main crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain open thrice a week for cargo trucks.
Century Office: Under the current situation, Century’s Pakistan office has made arrangements to work remotely, activating our BCP for these scenarios.
Port: As of April 22nd, 2020, the Karachi Port Trust in Pakistan has introduced financial relief for importers, offering 15-day free storage for cargoes. Port Qasim also has similar measures but the port will review each case individually.
Air Cargo: On May 17th, 2020, the Aviation Ministry of Pakistan announced that the ban on international flights will be further extended through May 31st. However, with effect from May 16th, domestic flights are permitted to resume operations in five major airports in Pakistan, namely Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.
Factories: Factories with export orders will be allowed to resume operations under precautionary measures. Our teams will continue to keep you updated on potential shipment delays or factory operating statuses as applicable.
Domestic land and air travel to the Luzon region (which includes Metropolitan Manila) are extended until May 15th, 2020. Authorities have confirmed that domestic cargo shipments are exempt from the travel restrictions.
Century Office: Our local team in the Philippines has reported that the Philippine government has introduced a new form of quarantine. Starting May 16th, 2020, Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Laguna province will be placed under a newly modified enhanced community quarantine. The new measure is more relaxed with eased restrictions and will allow many businesses to reopen. However, transportation will still be limited and therefore our team will continue to work remotely from home under our BCP for these scenarios.
Air Cargo: As of May 4th, the Philippines has suspended all inbound international and domestic passenger flights to the country for another week through May 9th. Cargo flights and relief flights will be exempted from the suspension. Previously, the Philippines had extended the suspension of land and domestic air and sea travels with Luzon region (which includes Metropolitan Manila) until April 30th, 2020.
Ports / CFS / Customs:
- As of April 22nd, 2020, the port congestion at Manila International Container Terminal in the Philippines has been resolved as the port and relevant authorities had outlined penalties for containers overstaying for more than 30 days after discharge. Cargo traffic and yard utilization have returned to normal levels.
- Our CFS staff will continue to accept and load cargoes as scheduled. Movement of cargoes to and from the entire Luzon shall be unhampered.
- As of March 24th, 2020, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) building will be closed until further notice for disinfection, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities have confirmed that the isolated case will not affect the normal operations at the building.
Factories: Our local office has reported that some vendors have closed due to the current lockdown while others continue operation with skeleton staff on duty or working from home. Please expect a partial delay in cargo delivery as some factories will be closed during this time.
On April 21st, 2020, Singapore’s Prime Minister announced that the country’s partial lockdown will be extended by four weeks through June 1st. Most schools and workplaces will be closed during the lockdown period.
Century Office: Our local office continues to operate with skeleton staff and the remainder working from home.
Singapore announced in early February that vessels having entered Chinese ports in the last 14 days must submit crew health declaration forms 24 hours in advance.
The government has impose social distancing measures to limit gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer, and ensure that physical distancing of at least one metre is maintained in non-transient settings such as at coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping malls.
South Korea declared the Daegu and Cheongdo cities as “special care zones” on February 21st, 2020 and encouraged residents in those area to stay at home.
As of now, there has been no major impact to supply chain operations throughout the country, including road traffic and warehouse operations.
Century Office: Century’s local team in Korea remains operational with staff going to the office on a rotational basis. 50% of staff work in the office at any given time while the remainder work from home.
- A congestion at Port of Busan in South Korea has been reported as of March 6th, 2020, as containers originally scheduled to go to Chinese ports were diverted to Busan. Although the container yard occupancy and overall operational efficiencies are now reportedly improving, the congestion at Busan Port has caused impacts to shipments between Asia and North America, resulting in shipment cancellations and rescheduling in Western Canada and the US east coast respectively. Moreover, the congestion has also led to the cancellation of shuttle service between Tomakomai, Hokkaido and Busan, as well as the delays of ONE’s New Zealand-Japan string.
- Due to the situation, carriers are planning blank sailings in early March and our team is working with them to load cargoes on alternate services to ensure minimal impacts or freight delays. Any changes to shipment schedules will be communicated through VMS® messages.
Beginning May 26th, 2020, Sri Lanka will ease the curfew imposed on all 25 districts including Colombo and Gampaha to 10 p.m. through 4 a.m. until further notice. However, traveling between Gampaha and Colombo districts will not be permitted unless a valid curfew pass is in place.
Century Office: Under the current situation, Century’s Sri Lanka office has made arrangements to work remotely, activating our BCP for these scenarios with only key personnel attending the office.
- Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority extended an ongoing ban on all arrivals of international commercial passenger flights until further notice. It was originally due to end April 7. Departures flights and inbound aircraft with cargo will not be restricted by the ban.
- The demand for international flights has risen in Sri Lanka as lockdown measures eased. SriLankan Airlines has announced plans to resume outbound international flights to London Heathrow, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Hong Kong. As a measure to prevent imported cases of the coronavirus, the planes will return without passengers from these cities. To support the country’s export industry, the airline is also planning 17 special cargo flights.
Ports / CFS:
- The government of Sri Lanka has announced several financial relief measures to support businesses in maintaining normal operations at ports during the coronavirus pandemic. All ships have been exempted from demurrage and entry charges. Yard and warehouse rental fees for imported containers and goods, as well as empty containers will also be completely waived during the curfew period. Facilities have also been arranged to obtain fuel needed for the container / freight carriers operating between the terminals and inter terminals at the port.
- Besides, the local government has instructed port authorities to make sure workers’ commute and access to ports will not be affected by the curfew. Harbor gate access permits / individual access permits currently available for trucks, lorries, tippers and bowsers will continue to be valid, and the Sri Lanka police will issue licenses to workers engaged in essential sectors to work during the curfew.
- As of May 18th, 2020, our CFS in Sri Lanka is operating from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, after obtaining approval from the police department. Our staff at the CFS are consolidating cargoes that were earlier delivered to the warehouse and continuing to accept cargo deliveries during the aforementioned period.
Trucking: Trucking services have been improved in comparison to previous weeks but have yet to be stabilized.
Factories: Most of the factories have resumed operations but no significant output is expected as of now under the current situation. Please expect a delay in production and delivery.
Other Information: As of May 11th, 2020, Sri Lanka has extended the suspension of all types of visas through June 11th.
Taiwan has announced that all Non-Taiwanese travelers will be barred from entering the country from midnight on March 19th, 2020 until further notice. Exceptions will be granted to individuals with residence permits, diplomates, as well as people traveling to Taiwan to carry out commercial contracts. All arrivals, including Taiwanese nationals, will be put under quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival.
The nation-wide state of emergency in Thailand will be extended to May 31 to fight coronavirus pandemic. Thailand will continue to close borders to foreign visitors, ban social gatherings, and restrict domestic travel.
As of May 18th, 2020, the overnight curfew in Thailand has been relaxed from 10 pm – 4 am to 11 pm – 4 am. Further, most businesses, including small retail stores and shopping malls in the country are allowed to re-open. The curfew will have some exceptions, including transport of medical supplies, movement of people into quarantine, patients, and travel of medical personnel.
On April 16th, 2020, the Thai Immigration Bureau announced that it will reopen 23 land borders with its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Myanmar on Saturday; however, only Thai nationals, diplomats and work permit holders will be allowed to enter Thailand after obtaining a health certificate and clearance from respective Thai embassies.
No supply chain impacts have been reported and all major suppliers have also confirmed that they are operating as usual. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as applicable.
Century Office: Century’s local office in Thailand is maintaining normal operations at the office.
Trucking: Our office has confirmed that there is no impact on transportation at the moment as goods have been exempted from the transport restrictions. There are however additional temperature and ID checks for truckers being conducted at Laem ChaBang port before entering the port area.
Air Cargo: On May 17th, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced that the ban on all incoming international passenger flights will be further extended till June 30th. However, few depart flights, cargo and medical relief flights will be exempt. Domestic flights will be allowed to resume operation on May 1st with strict health controls and social distancing protocol in place.
Other Information: On April 16th, 2020, the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) announced that discounted fees and more lenient credit terms will be offered to carriers. Effective from May 1st to June 30th, PAT will reduce special fees for fuel usage of the container and tug boat services both at Bangkok port and Laem Chabang port by 5%. In addition, effective for invoices dated April 15 to June 30, the grace period for payment of invoices will be extended from the original 15 days to 45 days.
As of April 23rd, 2020, the social distancing restrictions have eased in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as both cities are now classified as low risk of COVID-19 spread. Both cities will begin implementing Directive 15 which allows for more relaxed restrictions. Ho Chi Minh City will be allowed to reopen shops, street businesses, and non-essential services.
The government has prohibited the gathering of more than 10 people outside offices, schools, and hospitals. Public transport and interstate transport are also limited. The government will stop issuing new visas for foreigners until April 30.
Century Office: As a preventive measure, the number of staff working in Century Vietnam’s office will be reduced by 50%. Staff are able to work remotely under our BCP arrangements for such scenarios.
Air Cargo: Domestic flights will be restricted until April 30th, 2020.
- On March 25th, 2020, our local offices in Vietnam and Cambodia have both confirmed that while the quarantine measures still apply for people travelling across their shared border , the countries have agreed on an arrangement to allow cross-border cargo movements to continue. Under this arrangement, cargo will be transferred from a Vietnamese-based truck (with a Vietnamese-based driver) to that of a Cambodian-based truck (with a Cambodian-based driver), and vice versa, so that there is no crossing of borders by the truck drivers. However, please note that a congestion has been reported at border due to cargo fumigation and the time needed to unload and reload the cargo from one truck to the other.
As WHO has declared the COVID-19 virus to be a pandemic on March 12th, 2020, preventive measures have been implemented in ports worldwide. Vessels arriving from virus-impacted areas into various ports are required to submit voyage histories or to be quarantined in different terminals in accordance with memos issued by the respective regional authorities.
While Century strives to assess the situation and provide our customers with the latest updates on operation status in ports around the world, we also find the global port operation information provided by North P&I’s useful. You may refer to https://www.nepia.com/industry-news/coronavirus-outbreak-impact-on-shipping/ for details.
Business Continuity Plan
We confirm that our staff are safe, and no Century employee has so far been reported to have become infected. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time, as while we endeavor to provide uninterrupted shipment visibility, the COVID-19 virus poses various day-to-day challenges for our staff as they and their families are located in the impacted areas. Ensuring operations excellence and providing timely visibility to the status of your shipments remains a top priority along with employee health and safety.
All Century offices have a solid Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ready. As part of our ongoing BCP efforts, our staff will continue to work remotely with connectivity to VPN and our web-based platform VMS® to ensure ongoing operations execution.
Where applicable, the teams are revising carrier bookings to help ensure carrier space once cargo is ready and able to move. Please continue to check your shipment status through VMS®, as our Asia teams work to provide status summaries with more detailed information. Hong Kong and India teams have been activated to support the China-based teams during this critical time.
We will continue to update you here with the latest information on how this is impacting your supply chain. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact your local Century Account Manager.
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