The coronavirus situation in Wuhan is developing very rapidly and causing disruptions to global supply chains. Are loads from China safe? What is the best way to handle current conditions? Grzegorz Zdybel, Trade Lane Manager in the AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG international transportation and logistics group answers these questions and more.
Does the spread of coronavirus in China affect the transport of goods via the Poland-China-Poland route?
The situation in China and the need to limit the spread of coronavirus are now priorities. The most difficult situation is in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located. The most important measures to protect public safety are being taken by the civil services and employers, who, due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases, will be forced to extend downtime at production facilities.
There are a significant number of factories in the hi-tech and automotive industries in Wuhan. We can already see shrinking supplies there. There is a high risk of this being a difficult period in international transport, in particular after the resumption of production.
AsstrA’s priority is to secure access to the most efficient transport solutions with competitive prices and delivery times. We aim to support diversified cargo flows from alternative production facilities located in other global regions like South Korea.
Here, road transport can be a good alternative to air or rail transport. The vast majority of stable, contracted suppliers have contractual "force majeure" provisions that will limit their liabilities in case of untimely product deliveries to trade networks. There will be greater complications related to just-in-time or just-in-sequence hi-tech and automotive component imports. These parts are delivered directly to production lines, so prompt delivery times and inventory supplies are crucial to maintaining production continuity.
What is the current demand for goods supplied from China?
Demand for goods supplied from China has not fallen. Product availability is limited also due to the extended Chinese holiday period. China remains at global manufacturing leader.
Goods we buy in Germany, for instance, have often been manufactured in China. Protective masks are a good example. Currently, there is a shortage. The priority deliveries go to hospitals and doctors. Chinese factories are often running in 2-3 shifts to meet demand. That is why the AsstrA team is relying on trading expertise to source these products to supply them to China.
Are loads from China safe?
Based on experience combating the SARS virus outbreak from 2002/2003, good hygiene and frequent hand washing are the most reasonable ways to handle this current health threat. For general security, accurate updates on the situation in Chaina should be provided so that adequate assistance can be provided as needed.
The loads themselves are not a threat. The virus spreads through droplets in the air. Limiting the spread of epidemics should be a global priority.
What kind of transport is currently the safest way to deliver shipments from China?
It is difficult to definitively say what the safest means of transport is. Common sense and a basic understanding of what coronavairus is – as well as measures to limit its spread – are must-haves for all supply chain participants, from producers through transport companies to recipients.
Is the AsstrA Group taking special security precautions when organizing deliveries from China?
The safety of employees and clients is a top priority for AsstrA. We operate in accordance with all recommendations from sanitary inspectorates. In addition, all persons who come into contact with original documentation and cargo during reloading disinfect their hands with alcohol-based agents.
Due to the fact that some Chinese enterprises are closed until February 29, can we expect a boom in exports after they are reopened?
We anticipate such a possibility. Our priority is therefore to secure the most effective transport solutions. We are continuously implementing new service offerings and support functions. It is worth remembering that it may take a while for global supply chains to return to full efficiency. With our colleagues from China we are constantly monitoring the coronavirus situation. When all manufacturing processes return to normal, we will continue to identify new ways to provide access to goods in demand in both China and Europe.