COVID-19 is probably the world’s most disliked word currently due to the rampant economic disruption it has wreaked on the world. All countries and all businesses around the world have been affected by this pandemic.
The supply chain industry is one industry that has also been affected severely. The industry has seen a massive drop in volumes, congestion both on land and at sea, job losses etc, although ironically this is one of the industries that has and is helping to fight this pandemic through its movement of essential goods like medical supplies, food and PPE.
At the end of March 2020, we set up a short survey sponsored by Ocean Insights to analyse the impact of the pandemic on the industry and its preparedness.
12,000 clicks of that survey and the analysis and a 95% engagement rate told us that in times of strife, people want to come together, understand what is going on and help each other out of this situation.
So, we got together a team of executives to discuss these issues in a webinar moderated by an equally celebrated and astute industry journalist.
As we have all seen, COVID-19 is causing severe imbalances in world trade which is affecting everyone, whether it is an exporter, importer, shipping line, shipowner, freight forwarder, trucker, or a spaza shop around the corner..
While ships are moving, ports are discharging and loading containers, nothing is as yet at a 100% capacity in most of the countries around the world..
Ships are facing port congestion resulting in blank sailings, containers are stuck in storage at ports, terminals, and depots around the world for later deliveries creating longer delays than anticipated and also causing yard space congestion..
In view of the delays experienced by the trade, we look at the question – Does ICC (A) cover cargo claims due to COVID-19 delays..??
The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. Travel restrictions mean some cannot leave their ships, be repatriated home, or even get urgent medical assistance. Other seafarers have seen their contracts unilaterally terminated or have been quarantined on board ships for more than 14 days, without getting paid.
A large number of seafarers, as well as their spouses and family members, have reached out to IMO to share their concerns about a variety of difficult situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMO has established an internal team to help resolve individual cases, often working alongside other organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
We have read many articles, extolling the virtues of Seafarers who are considered the backbone of the shipping industry and how they are important to the industry etc etc.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these Seafarers are facing significant challenges with extended service on board, unable to go ashore for a bit of fresh air after many months at sea, unable to be relieved of their duties and go home to be with their loved ones etc.
This is despite international maritime compliance regulations which require Seafarers to be changed on a regular basis from ships they work in to ensure safety, crew health, welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.
There have been calls from many quarters for appropriate action to be taken to address these issues faced by Seafarers.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect and disrupt industries, jobs, lives, and economies around the world, there also seems to be a good fightback from the various industries, governments, and organisations.
Shipping lines have been offering time-sensitive cost-saving options for COVID-19 along with some relief in demurrage and detention charges etc.. Governments have been given tax breaks and business rescue packages to those most affected.
Now it seems to be the turn of the two main canals that serve the shipping and freight industry – the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.
These canals save shipowners costs in terms of the transit, in terms of fuel costs, and also assists in reducing the carbon footprint of the transiting ships but of course both these canals have toll charges for the transit of ships.
South Africa has been on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the 27th of March 2020 and as of date, South Africa has 4220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 79 deaths..
Below is the gist of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on the 23rd of April 2020 and details relevant to the risk-adjusted strategy for the resumption of economic activity in the country..
Global Supply Chains are very important in linking various countries to international markets facilitating global trade.. Modern day supply chains come with great opportunities but also pose some challenges which can test some of the best built and run supply chains..
One such challenge that is testing the world currently is the COVID-19 pandemic which came into limelight in December 2019.. This pandemic which has spread to every country around the world has caused/is causing major economic and social disruptions with far reaching impacts on global supply chains..
To understand the impact of this pandemic on the supply chain, we conducted a survey to measure the effect and impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global supply chains.. It collected and analyzed data on three key aspects – Impact, Preparedness, and Recovery..
COVID-19, has changed the way this world works and is expected to continue to influence the movement of global economies, human resources, the medical field and supply chain for the foreseeable future..
As at the time of writing of this article, the global number of infected people was around 2.38+ million with 164,000+ dead which is around 6.88% of the total infected..
Several ports around the world were/are either closed or working under limited conditions with several restrictions imposed on normal port activities.. Global trade has been severely impacted and is undergoing strain as never before..
Our industry plays a highly highly pivotal role in ensuring that the flow of goods continues, especially the flow of critical and essential goods all around the world..
Its good to see that some of the shipping lines have come up with some creative cost saving options for COVID-19..
Further to the various updates we have been posting here about the COVID-19 lockdown situation in South Africa and the various regulatory changes thereof, SARS has published an update from their side on the measures relating to COVID-19 and the Impact on Customs of new Government regulations..
This update replaces the Customs Practice Note and its Explanatory Note issued on 06 and 07 April 2020 respectively..