World’s Biggest Coronavirus Lockdown Puts Cargo Freight in Jeopardy!

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  • India, in a bid to tackle the country’s coronavirus outbreak, is under lockdown until 14 April.
  • 80% of India will be under complete lockdown and everyone working from home.
  • Warehouses are deserted though there is permission to move export-import cargo.
  •  60% of truck drivers at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, have “fled to the villages” in fear of the outbreak.
  • Maersk has told customers to expect import delays at JNPT and Chennai.
  •  e-commerce sector remains in confusion and is shut, despite their exemption from the lockdown measures.
  • Only pharma products are moving, with rates ranging from $6 per kg to Europe and $10 per kg to the US.

India is in lockdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak causing a string of supply chain disruptions, reports The LoadStar.

Lockdown to fight virus

India, in a bid to tackle the country’s coronavirus outbreak, has restricted around 750 million people from travel and work until 14 April. People of India have been told to stay at home. 

Naveen Prakash, director of Global Logistics Solutions India said 80% of India will be under complete lockdown and everyone working from home.

Deserted warehouses

He added due to the uncertainty, truckers are being careful and thus warehouses are deserted though there is permission to move export-import cargo.

Drivers fled to villages

According to the head of a local trucking association, 60% of truck drivers serving India’s busiest container hub, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, have “fled to the villages” in fear of the outbreak.

Free storage period extension

JNPT terminal operator Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) said users face difficulty arranging pick-ups, due to the shortage of manpower and resources. 

To assist their customers, JNPT is therefore extending the free storage period of all import containers.

Expect more delays

Maersk has told customers to expect import delays at JNPT and Chennai.

It said “Some ports may have challenges managing windows as, for vessels coming from China, a 14-day quarantine is a must (including transit); we have two services which will be impacted, PKX and FI2.”

Demurrage waivers

Mr Prakash said ports and warehouses had started declaring demurrage waivers. At the same time he claimed that shipping lines were being “tight lipped, with no information coming from their end”.

He added “And airline bulletins are also not coming in – all the information available is one-to-one.”

Movement of fresh produce 

According to The Hindu Business Line, the restrictions have disrupted the movement of fresh produce across India’s state borders.

Pankaj Khandelwal, of INI Farms said lockdown on people movement has caused huge trouble in harvesting, packing and transporting.

e-commerce sector

Amazon and Flipkart 

Amazon and Flipkart were forced to suspend pick-ups and deliveries due to local authorities closing warehouses. 

This reveals the confusion in the e-commerce sector, despite their exemption from the lockdown measures.

Blue Dart Express

Balfour Manuel, MD of Blue Dart Express, said they got information regarding closure of their customers’ production facilities and warehouses. 

“In view of the developing situation, we have decided only critical pharmaceutical/medical equipment already in our custody and our network will be prioritised for delivery.”

Limited freighter capacity 

Karthi Baskar, deputy managing director of Kintetsu World Express (India), said there was limited freighter capacity available.

Peak price reached

Mr. Baskar said “Pricing has reached a peak.” 

“Only pharma products are moving, with rates ranging from $6 per kg to Europe and $10 per kg to the US. Tough times ahead, but still charter opportunities are available.”

Major slowdown expected

He said KWE was expecting a major slowdown throughout April and June.

According to Mr Baskar:

  • Smaller companies will see a deeper impact with regards to cash flow and survival. 
  • Mid-size and large companies will survive for now depending on how they manage 
    • staff costs, 
    • fixed costs and 
    • variable costs in this testing time.

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Source: The LoadStar

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