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Coronavirus Update - FTA

"Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) provide the following update for members / industry on the coronavirus situation.


In ongoing discussion with shipping lines / forwarders and the customs broker community our advice of update 12 seems to be holding, in that a range of cities / provinces have held off return to work till February 24. That said, in discussion with one forwarder yesterday advice was that, as we have said, these dates are very fluid and could change as late as the morning of the 24th. So please stay in touch with you agents / shipping lines and clients to ensure you are getting the latest updates.

The situation at ports (sea and air) remains challenging to assess. Airlines and ocean carriers are continuing to review how to operate in this rapidly changing environment with unknown impact on flight schedules, sailings and capacities to and from China. The local governments have imposed stricter and additional requirements for work resumption. Companies need to demonstrate they have safety processes in place, equipped with sufficient hygiene consumable stock and fulfill on-going reporting and audit requirements.

Also, there are varying levels of local regulation and restrictions on the movement of people, which have an impact on the domestic supply chain capacities. The cancellation of flights and blank sailings, together with the stricter quarantine requirements enforced at an increasing number of ports and gateways will result in supply chain delays.

Further, whilst all ports, with the exception of Wuhan, are operational there are congestion problems especially in Shanghai and Tianjin / Xanging. Due in the main to shortage of dockers so loading / unloading of vessels is slow.


Commercial flights to and from Wuhan, where the virus is centered, have mostly stopped. Cancellations have spread to major hubs in Beijing and Shanghai. Carriers from British Airways to Singapore Airlines to United Airlines have suspended flights to China’s biggest cities.

The GSF through its association with Bloomberg have provided FTA a detailed report of airlines and their current, as of February 19, actions as regards flight suspensions. However we are advised that some airlines are starting to arrange freighter flights for movement of cargo only.


Russell Wiese, Principal at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers, has provided an update on the Coronavirus and the legal impacts - perspectives from China & Australia.

This commentary is a collaboration with their Interlaw partner Jackson Y. Teng, Senior Partner at Zhonglun W&D Law Firm in China, They explore the legal implications of the virus on contracts and supply chains, from an Australian and Chinese perspective.

FTA suggest members / industry maintain close relations with their forwarders , agents , shipping lines, suppliers and clients in China to ensure they have the latest information available.

To stay abreast of all developments and general information concerning the Novel Coronavirus we suggest members maintain a watching brief on the Department of Health website

FTA will continue to monitor issues surrounding the coronavirus and keep members updated as necessary."

John Park - Head of Business Operations - FTA / APSA

Copyright © 2020 Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.

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