The transport and logistics industry has been the first to reflect China’s recovery from the coronavirus. According to the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP), the Chinese logistics efficiency index for March 2020 was 51.5%. This is 25.3% higher than in February. Figures above and below 50% indicate that the market is expanding or retracting, respectively.
The PRC is getting back to work as authorities loosen strict restrictions adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of April 17, 2020, numerous Chinese enterprises have resumed full operations. The Honda, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, and Nissan automobile factories in Hubei have all opened for business.
“The Chinese economic recovery is progressing well. Large enterprises are operating at 100% capacity. Small and medium-sized businesses are at around 80%. Therefore, in China there is an increase in demand for logistics services,” says Vyacheslav Gural, Regional Director of Asian Countries at AsstrA.
Despite the constantly changing global epidemiological situation, the Chinese economy is experiencing intense growth. The volume of air cargo on domestic routes has already exceeded pre-crisis figures, which indicates a strongly recovering national economy. However, indicators for 2020 will differ from 2019.
“In times of crisis, clients turn to a trusted logistics partner. The level of uncertainty is high, so it doesn’t make sense to take additional risks working with new partners. Therefore we have been receiving increased orders from our clients in the first quarter and at the beginning of the second quarter. AsstrA’s Shanghai office has processed twice the number of orders this year vs the same period last year. Air cargo volume is up 173%, with sea volume up 178% and rail volume up 100%,” says Vyacheslav Gural.
European countries that have passed the peak of the epidemic are also considering a return to a "normal" life.
“Generally, we see positive trends. What’s happening in China instills faith and inspires the hope of global victory over the coronavirus. After nearly two months of quarantine, European countries are gradually starting to lift restrictions. We hope that the pace of positive change will only increase,” summarizes Vyacheslav Gural.