13 August 2020

Service Announcement Australia | Coronavirus COVID-19 Update


Our first priority is keeping our team safe and doing all we can to keep products moving. Although the challenges throughout our markets are present, all of our branches globally remain operational and here to assist. We will release market updates as new information becomes available. The most recent news on each service can be found below.

Domestic Transport Updates

August 4 Update
Following the release of the Victorian Governments Stage 4 COVID restriction business guidelines, we are able to confirm that Mainfreight will operate under the “permitted industry” classification. We will continue to enact our comprehensive COVID Safe Plan and ensure that our teams carry the permits required to attend work and fulfil their important supply chain roles.

All our brands (Air & Ocean, Domestic Transport and Warehousing) are operating and we will continue to monitor and communicate any changes should they arise.

As always, thank you for your support and if you have any questions at all, please contact your local Mainfreight branch.
July 30 Update

There has been significant media coverage over recent days regarding new COVID-19 testing obligations for interstate truck drivers. The requirements are changing daily but currently South Australia (SA) has implemented a policy whereby truck drivers entering SA must provide evidence of a COVID-19 test. At this stage the testing must be completed every 7 days. We anticipate other state borders may impose the same restrictions (or variations thereof) over the days ahead.

We are implementing any steps necessary to ensure our drivers will be tested and able to comply with these new and changing border rules.

We appreciate the importance of providing consistent and reliable interstate transport services for our customers and for the economy in general. We are constantly communicating with the various state trucking associations and health authorities to ensure we have the most accurate information on border crossing requirements.

Our teams across the country are working proactively and at pace to ensure that our services are not interrupted. We are confident that we can meet any emerging border crossing demands. If there are any significant changes or impact on our services, we will communicate quickly and accurately with our customers and suppliers.

Thank you for your support and as always, we hope that you, your families and your businesses are safe and well.

April 30 Update
Within Australia our interstate vehicles are crossing borders and our local trucks are making pick-ups and deliveries. We are following all the recommended guidelines to ensure our team members remain healthy and safe so that we can continue to assist our customers move their products as required.

Our teams are aware of their critical role in maintaining supply lines to business and homes, here and around the world. The physical nature of freight movement means that we cannot isolate ourselves. Daily engagement with our customers is a requirement, for the collection and delivery of freight.

Please don’t feel offended if our driver no longer shakes hands, or is seen to be maintaining a 1.5-metre separation protocol for contactless collections or deliveries. A smile and a wave will quickly be reciprocated.

The following measures are designed to reduce our drivers’ and customers’ exposure, in both business and home environments:

Business deliveries
  • The 1.5-metre rule outlined above applies.
  • Drivers will sanitise hands after each activity and regularly during daily delivery /collection routines.
  • If receivers are uncomfortable signing delivery documents for any reason, outside the 1.5-metre separation area with their own pen, the driver will request a full name which they will endorse on each consignment receipt prefixed with CV-19.

Home deliveries
  • During our pre-delivery telephone call, we will now be asking receivers questions around their health status and if any household members are in self-isolation. Deliveries to affected properties will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
  • We will deliver to an agreed location outside of the residence.
  • Our drivers will print the receiver’s name on the consignment note in front of the receiver, as signatures are no longer mandatory.
  • No returns from private premises will be accepted until further notice.
  • We continue to monitor the health of our drivers and all our team members, encouraging anyone displaying any signs of illness to stay at home. As usual, we will be offering all our team free flu vaccinations as winter approaches.

Depot Collections
  • In this current COVID 19 environment, we are committed to minimising any unnecessary “personal contact” and non-essential travel risks for our team and our customers. With this in mind, we have had to cease our depot freight collection option for customers with immediate effect.

This means receivers are no longer able to come to any Mainfreight depot to pick up freight. However, we are able to arrange “contactless” delivery of your freight using our well-equipped owner driver vehicle fleet.

Please ensure you work with your suppliers and customers to ensure the right arrangements are made when booking a delivery and the necessary information is available for our team to make phone contact with receivers ahead of delivery.

Air & Ocean Update

July 31 Update

Australia

There has been significant media coverage over recent days regarding new COVID–19 infections in Australia, focused mainly in Victoria. While regulations have tightened around social distancing and personal protection protocols in parts of the country, freight is still moving internationally, intra, and interstate, without delay.

The only measure currently impinging on transport, is the requirement to produce evidence of COVID–19 testing for interstate truck drivers at the South Australian state border. At the time of writing testing must be completed every 7 days.

We anticipate other state borders may impose similar restrictions in the short term, so have ensured our drivers are being tested and able to comply with border regulations as they change.

We are confident that we can meet any emerging border crossing demands without material delay in service delivery. If there are any significant changes or impact on our services, we will communicate quickly and accurately with our customers and suppliers.
 

New Zealand

In New Zealand, social, sporting, and business environments continue to benefit from the measures taken to manage COVID–19 earlier in the year. Domestic distribution is currently operating without impediment and is expected to continue to do so.

International import and export sea freight movements have remained largely unaffected to date, with shipping lines matching capacity to demand. These measures, combined with the beginnings of peak season, has however started to result in congestion in several transhipment ports in Asia. Our team are monitoring the situation and are able to offer alternative routings where required.

Air freight services in and out of New Zealand continue to recover, albeit with elevated rates compared to pre–Covid levels.
 

Europe

No new restrictions have been introduced around cargo movement across the European Union and the United Kingdom. While there have been reports of increased cases in Romania, Germany and we do not expect any restriction impacting on our ability to complete deliveries.

Asia

Our branches and depots throughout North and South East Asia continue to operate without commercial restriction, despite recent infection increases in some countries resulting in an elevation of social measures to combat COVID–19.

Our teams in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore have maintained split shifts to continue to enable social distancing while they are in the office.

In all parts of Asia, our team are reporting no physical or regulatory barriers to the movement of cargo.
 

The Americas

USA have been reporting 64,000 new cases per day on average over the last 7 days. Several states where restrictions have been lifted in May and June are now reverting back to their stay at home orders and "Phase 1 openings".

While this has restricted some social interaction, it is very much business as usual for our 990 team members across the Americas.

Consistent with local guidelines, a small number of our team are still working remotely or on shifts, however all 74 branches through North and South America are fully operational with little to no service delays. Ports, Airports, and Cargo depots are unaffected.

The Mainfreight team around Australia and the world are continuing to provide solutions and guidance as supply chains adjust to local and global environments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local Mainfreight team.
April 30 Update
This week we have seen further positive developments in the global response to the COVID–19  pandemic. Globally a wide range of social restrictions remain in effect, although governments around the world have begun the process of scaling back those measures, while introducing stimulus to their domestic economies.

In all 26 countries where Mainfreight has a presence, we continue to find the movement of cargo to be unrestricted, with volumes increasing, both domestically and internationally.
 

Australia

We are seeing some positive comments from the Government and Territories in Australia regarding the easing of restrictions in the coming weeks.

Good news of calming global restrictions and local government support for agriculture and medical industries has provided an environment for more cost effective air freight options. To help reduce costs and transit times, our team have created ship and air hubs for movements of LCL and air products.

To discuss solutions for any air, ocean, wharf, warehousing or domestic transportation needs, speak with our team today.
 

New Zealand

The commercial trading environment in New Zealand under Alert Level 3 has sparked into life with over 96% of Mainfreight Air & Ocean import and export customers reporting they are open for business.

Also positive is the improving outlook for air freight, with announcements this week from Air New Zealand, Air Canada, and China Airlines of an increase in scheduled international flights.

The New Zealand sea freight environment is less volatile in comparison, with services largely delivering capacity which is meeting current demand. We do see a degree of blank sailings occurring while shipping lines adjust schedules to match bookings in the short term.

For customers that had containers arrive into New Zealand during Level 4, it is important to be aware of detention costs as shipping line measures to waive fees expire. Please check in with your local Mainfreight team if you have any concerns in this area.
 

Europe

Our team across Europe report an improving and optimistic trading environment, with all branches open and operating normally, as they have done throughout the various lockdown measures throughout the region.

Most EU governments are signalling positive movement toward restrictions being reduced in the majority of markets.

Giorgio Mongeri, Branch Manager of Mainfreight Milan, reported the re–opening of public construction in Italy, along with automotive plants and other manufacturing activities. He tells us from May 4th all industrial and commercial activity can resume, with people allowed to circulate within their own region. May 18th will see retail outlets re–opening, with barber shops, restaurants and bars following on June 1st.

Air freight capacity ex Europe to Australia and New Zealand is improving with capacity opening on several airlines. Rates remain under upward pressure, although more favourable routing options are emerging, which should see rates stabilise, and then reduce in the medium term.

For a live update on waiting times being experienced by our drivers at European borders, please click here.

We would like to remind you that our teams across Europe are approaching the May European holiday period. Branch closures are listed below:
  • Belgium & Germany: Closed on 1st and 21st of May.
  • France: Closed on 1st, 8th and 21st of May.
  • Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain: Closed on 1st of May.
  • The Netherlands: Closed on 5th and 21st of May.
  • United Kingdom: Closed on 8th and 25th of May.
  • Russia: Closed on 1st to 5th of May and 11th of May.
  • Ukraine: Closed on 1st and 11th of May.
 

Asia

Our branches across Asia remain open and operational despite ongoing social restrictions resulting in the closure of many businesses.

In China, the transport of cargo continues to operate without interruption. Demand for air freight into and out of China has continued to increase. There is also reported congestion around Shanghai airport due to the lead of the Labor Holiday period which will take place from May 1st to May 5th.

Japan has announced their state of emergency has been extended and will apply to the whole country until the 6th of May, 2020. Similarly, Singapore has also announced an extension to their "Circuit–Breaker" measures through until June 1st.

Trade in India remains largely suspended, although we continue to be successful in the movement of air freight consignments into and out of India.
 

The Americas

Our teams across Northern and Southern America are reporting that "stay at home" orders are beginning to be relaxed or lifted, while cargo, as previously reported, has continued to move freely.

Consistent with other parts of the world, demand for air freight capacity has increased. Our Mainfreight USA Air Freight teams have maintained contracted services out of the major world gateways into the USA, and have introduced regular trans–Pacific charter flights.

Cargo continues to move successfully around the world, with demand for both air and sea freight capacity increasing as social restrictions begin to be wound back. In this period communication remains vital to ensuring that we are able to deliver solutions which support ongoing business recovery and development.

Air cargo capacity is accessible on almost all trade lanes with a mix of charter and commercial freighter services well established. We expect further development in this area in coming days.
April 23 Update
Globally there is a wide range of social restrictions in place as governments around the world manage their domestic situations. In all 26 countries where Mainfreight has a presence, we continue to find the movement of cargo to be largely unrestricted, both domestically and across borders.
 

Australia

Conditions in Australia remain unchanged this week although we expect to see some easing of restrictions take place over the coming weeks.

While the situation remains dynamic so too are the solutions our teams are putting together. To discuss solutions for any air, ocean, wharf, warehousing or domestic transportation needs, speak with our team today.
 

New Zealand

On Monday 20th April, the New Zealand Government announced a move from COVID–19 Alert Level 4 to Level 3 on Monday 27th April at 11.59pm. The elimination of COVID–19 remains at the forefront of this decision and future considerations. The country will hold at Alert Level 3 for two weeks, and this will be reassessed by Cabinet on Monday 11th May.

The Mainfreight transport team have expanded our capacity to service an increase in home deliveries under Alert Level 3, in line with the Government allowing additional categories of business to operate. The specialist nature of a home delivery requires broader delivery–time tolerances, due to increased customer requirements.

We expect Monday's announcement of the move to Alert Level 3 will invigorate import activity, with air freight demand in particular already increasing. Fortunately this comes at a time where options are widening across both commercial and chartered flights into the country.
 

Europe

The Mainfreight team across Europe report a trading environment similarly positioned to previous weeks, with all branches open and operating normally. There is optimism emerging although most countries remain under various lock down restrictions until the end of April or early May. Most EU governments are signalling decisions will then be made regarding the next steps, with expectations of restrictions being reduced in the majority of markets.

For a live update on waiting times being experienced by our drivers at European borders, please click here.
We remind customers and partners that we are coming into the May European holiday period. Details are listed below:
  • Belgium & Germany: Closed on 1st and 21st of May.
  • France: Closed on 1st, 8th and 21st of May.
  • Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain: Closed on 1st of May.
  • The Netherlands: Closed on 5th and 21st of May.
  • United Kingdom: Closed on 8th and 25th of May.
  • Russia: Closed on 1st to 5th of May and 11th of May.
  • Ukraine: Closed on 1st and 11th of May.
 

Asia

Our branches across Asia remain open and operational despite ongoing social restrictions resulting in the closure of many businesses.

Japan has announced their state of emergency has been extended and will apply to the whole country until the 6th of May, 2020. Similarly, Singapore has also announced an extension to their "Circuit–Breaker" measures through until June 1st.

There is also reported congestion around Shanghai airport due to the lead of the Labor Holiday period which will take place from May 1st to May 5th.

Trade in India remains largely suspended, although we continue to be successful in the movement of air freight consignments into and out of India.
 

The Americas

All of our branches across the Americas remain open and fully functional; our warehouses are working as normal, and our trucks continue to deliver product to our customers with consumables and health–related products dominating FTL and LTL loads.

While cargo continues to move successfully around the world, the importance of communication remains, ensuring that we are able to manage freight already in motion and facilitate final delivery.
Air cargo capacity continues to be accessible on most trade lanes as a mix of charter and commercial freighter services are established.

We strongly encourage our customers to talk with their local Mainfreight teams as they plan for the next few weeks. We have available infrastructure and storage capacity in all markets to assist.

We wish to thank our customers for their ongoing support as our team work to navigate the disruptions imposed by COVID–19. Further updates will be provided in the event of any clarification or expansion to Government's COVID–19 policy.
April 17 Update
Despite the ever changing COVID-19 restrictions around the globe, our branches remain open and operational. Since our update on Tuesday there have been minimal changes within the business environment.

New Zealand has seen some adjustments to permitted freight movements, with non-essential items that were in transit prior to the Alert Level 4 lock down now able to be delivered. This positive movement is expected to be the start of a focus to move towards the re-opening of more New Zealand business. Further government announcements are expected on Monday the 20th of April.
 

Australia

Conditions remain unchanged from our previous announcement with Level 3 restrictions still in place.

The ATO has however announced increased automation capabilities to aid the processing of increased deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme applications.

Deferral of GST: The deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme allows an importer to defer payment of GST on all taxable importations into Australia. Once approved, the import GST otherwise payable at the border is deferred until the 21st of the following month. In the current environment the ATO confirmed receipt of significantly increased number applications for DGST registration and have increased automated capabilities that should process up to 500 DGST applications per day.
 

Asia, Europe & The Americas

Although social restrictions have resulted in the closure of many businesses across Asia, Europe and The Americas our branches remain open and operational. Conditions in these areas remain unchanged from our announcement on Tuesday with freight continuing to move where possible. 
 

New Zealand

Last night New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport released details that will allow our team to deliver essential freight and non–essential freight that is already in the transport system. The intention of the refinement is to clear the system so essential freight can move as freely as possible.

This does not change the trading restrictions on non–essential businesses, who remain unable to open under Alert Level 4, except to receive goods.

An announcement is expected on Monday 20 April as to when the country will move to Alert Level 3. In essence, Level 3 introduces opportunity to open new services for essential and non–essential freight to residential and business addresses. As supporting detail is released over coming days we will provide further commentary to assist our customers with their planning requirements.

As focus moves towards the re–opening of more New Zealand businesses, we look forward to providing options which will assist our customers resume successful trading as quickly as possible.
April 14 Update
Over the Easter break we have seen continuing developments around the globe. Some countries have moved towards extending COVID-19 restrictions whist other regions are moving towards relaxing commercial restrictions in an effort to stimulate trade.

All of our Mainfreight branches in Europe, Asia, The Americas and Australasia, continue to be open and fully operational as outlined in our COVID–19 updates previously.

It remains a dynamic international air and sea freight environment, however as reported last week, options have emerged and continue to do so as carriers adjust to changes in demand and capacity.
 

Australia

As an essential service provider our Transport, Air & Ocean, and Warehousing teams across Australia remain operational. State restrictions have resulted in a gradual closure of some businesses, however the movement of cargo remains unaffected and volumes have been comparable to previous years.

As part of our ongoing efforts to minimise any unnecessary “personal contact” and non-essential travel risks we have had to cease our depot freight collection option for customers with immediate effect. 

New Zealand

As outlined in last week's update, our team in New Zealand continues to see clarity emerging in both the air and sea freight markets servicing New Zealand importers and exporters.

Air freight capacity in the short term is available, with charter space accessible most days between New Zealand and northern China, while options continue to emerge on other key trade-lanes including Australia and North America.
 

Asia

In China, transport of cargo around the mainland continues to operate almost without interruption, including inter–city movements. Demand for air freight into and out of China continues, although the increased regulation around PPE introduced over Easter is expected to moderate this in the short term. We continue to see patchy forward bookings as consignees around the world become unable to receive delivery, in the short term, due to local restrictions.

Cargo–only air freight services are increasing as indicated in earlier updates. The re–purpose of aircraft for charter has become commonplace, although rate levels are inconsistent.
Our teams in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan report an increase in restrictions, resulting in most businesses closing. Japan has declared a state of emergency in 9 prefectures including Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Hokkaido and Fukuoka.

Under the one–month Japanese state of emergency, each prefecture has authority to control hospitals, medical equipment supply, schools, social welfare service facilities, retailers and entertainment facilities.

Trade in India remains suspended as ports, airports, government border agencies, and transport providers are included in the lock down currently in place, operating with 5% staffing levels. We however continue to be successful in the movement of air freight consignments into and out of India.
 

Europe

Throughout Europe, the situation remains similar to that reported last week, with further tightening of social and commercial regulation to limit personal interaction.
 

The Americas

Our teams across North and South America are reporting that "stay at home" orders continue to be imposed or extended. Borders between the USA, Mexico, and Canada have closed to non'residents. Cargo, as reported last week, continues to move freely.
April 6 Update
Over the weekend we have seen further developments globally as COVID–19 infections have continued to rise and central governments have taken additional reactive measures.

Mainfreight team members around the world have been working with our innovative and adaptable customers to put together solutions, keeping their supply chains operational, helping them take opportunities where they emerge in this changeable market, or simply providing options to mitigate the potential for additional cost.

All Mainfreight branches in Europe, Asia, The Americas and Australasia, continue to be open and fully operational as outlined in our COVID–19 updates last week.
 

Australia

The situation in Australia remains similar to that reported last week.

We are seeing a continued increase in air freight capacity now available in Australia with more freighter flights scheduled and an increasing number of cargo only passenger flights being made available across the country. Unfortunately without the benefit of paying passengers the cargo rates remain volatile for these services.

Sea freight services remain steady and containers especially from China are operating almost without interruption.

Our teams in Mainfreight Transport, Air & Ocean, and our Warehousing branches across Australia remain operational. State restrictions have resulted in a gradual closure of some businesses, mostly in those industries currently deemed non-essential, including catering, retail and fitness. The movement of cargo remains unaffected.

Our Mainfreight, Owens and Chemcouriers transport teams are able to complete deliveries and collections between states and locally, whilst following all recommended COVID-19 guidelines. We are working with customers to understand their operational status and providing options where they are unable to receive deliveries.
 

New Zealand

With 12 days now completed under the Stage 4 lockdown environment, we have seen further clarity emerge in both the air and sea freight markets servicing New Zealand importers and exporters.

Air freight capacity to service our customers in the short term is now in place, with charter space available most days between New Zealand and northern China, while options are also emerging on other key trade–lanes.

The approach that NZ is taking in its lockdown is causing problems for businesses trying to make a distinction between essential and non-essential business and freight. While it has been clarified by the Ministry of Transport that we can deliver imported containers to ATF (approved) sites. Only essential goods are able to be unpacked. Shipping lines in most cases have only extended detention-free periods until April 23. Should the NZ Government extend lockdown until after this date, it is uncertain what position shipping lines will take in regard to detention fees.

Storage, until your business can reopen to receive cargo, is available in most locations, including at our specialist Dangerous Goods sites in Auckland and Christchurch.
 

Asia

Consistent with feedback from our Mainfreight team in mainland China last week, we have seen an increase in demand for many Australian–made products as both commerce and consumer buying behaviour returns to normal. Supporting this, air freight capacity from Australia to China has increased.

Transport of cargo around China continues to operate almost without interruption, including inter–city movements.

Government imposed border restrictions remain in place to ensure China avoids a second wave of imported COVID-19 infections, putting pressure on inbound passenger flight services. Cargo–only services are not impacted and capacity on these freighter flights is increasing. The re-purpose of aircraft for charter has become commonplace, however rate levels to secure cargo space remain volatile.

Our teams in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea all advise that they remain operational and open as normal. Social measures are in effect in several countries, however to date they have not impacted cargo movement.

Trade in India has been largely halted as ports, airports, government border agencies, and transport providers are included in the lock down currently in place. We were however successful in moving air freight consignments into and out of India last week.
 

Europe

Throughout Europe, the situation remains similar to that reported last week, albeit with a further tightening of social and commercial regulation to limit personal interaction.

Our Mainfreight teams in Spain and Italy report no change in previously advised restrictions. Non–essential businesses are largely closed, with demand reduced as a result. Ports, airports and logistics providers remain operational, with our team working to the same capacity as last week.

Russia has extended its nationwide lockdown over the weekend to the end of April, however our team remains 100% operational from remote locations. Ports and other supply chain infrastructure at this time also remain operational.

Our teams report a slowing in commercial activity across Europe consistent with the additional government measures being introduced. As with Russia, several countries have indicated further restrictions are likely and/or an extension to their lockdown periods.
 

The Americas

Our team in North America reports that efforts to contain COVID–19 are increasing with quite significant impact in several cities, including New York. The US Government last week extended "stay at home" orders until April 30th across the country, while borders between the USA, Mexico, and Canada have closed to non residents. Cargo however continues to move freely.

All of our branches across the Americas remain open and fully functional; our warehouses are functioning as normal, and our trucks continue to deliver product to our customers and into communities.
March 27 Update
Although restrictions around the globe are continuing to amplify, as an essential service provider, our branches globally remain open and operational across Transport, Air & Ocean, and Warehousing branches.

At the time of writing, borders internationally remain open for trade. As impacted communities adjust to further social restrictions, our Mainfreight teams have been able to operate effectively in this dynamic environment and have provided insight through our presence in markets across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia.
 

Australia

Our teams across our Transport, Air & Ocean, and Warehousing branches remain operational.  There are currently no barriers to sea freight and we are seeing containers again arriving from China in large numbers. Talk to our team about options for storage should you need it.

Air freight remains the greatest challenge for importers and exporters and we are working with our partner airlines to open up even more options in the future. During the crisis Sydney will become the air freight gateway for most cargo flights in and out of Australia. Our domestic national LCL network is well placed to get your freight where it needs to be nationally. Talk to our team and we can help you find the best solution.

Despite border closures, as an essential service provider our interstate vehicles and our local trucks are continuing with pick-ups and deliveries. Our team is following all the recommended guidelines to ensure our team members, and those customers being delivered to or from, are protected and remain healthy and safe.
 

New Zealand

As we move into the first weekend in New Zealand under Alert Level 4 of the Government's COVID–19 measures, we continue to work with our customers globally to confirm their ability to send or receive cargo in the coming weeks.

The pressure on air freight capacity has intensified along with demand for both import and export space towards the end of this week. Flight schedules have again been reduced on many lanes globally, including New Zealand with Cathay Pacific suspending New Zealand flights with immediate effect.

In regards to sea freight, we have seen several developments towards the end of this week, with blank sailings starting to emerge as demand becomes uncertain.

We continue to work through shipments in transit that have been impacted, with those customers involved. Import deliveries and export collections continue to be completed where the collection or receiving address is accessible.
Among the shipping lines servicing New Zealand, Maersk and PIL have confirmed extended detention–free on all containers impacted by the COVID–19 measures in April.

For Mainfreight Group LCL customers, we will minimise the costs associated with storage post arrival, through our network of warehouses in Auckland and Christchurch. Please talk to us about your specific requirements.
 

Asia

The challenges around air freight in and out of China continue, as the government has tightened border restrictions further in the last 24 hours to protect against imported COVID–19 infections. Inbound airline schedules have again become changeable as airlines react to the new restrictions.

Cargo–only services are not impacted. Capacity is increasing, however rate levels to secure space remain volatile.

Our teams in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea all advise that they remain operational and open as normal. Mainfreight Malaysia has advised that their government has introduced similar social and business operating restrictions as those currently in place in New Zealand.

In India, both the national border, and those between states, is closed. Trade has effectively halted as ports, airports, Government border agencies, and transport providers are included in the lockdown.
 

Europe

In Russia the country will commence lock down, with similar restrictions to those we see in other parts of Europe. We are expecting more detail on this over the weekend.

At this stage our understanding is that ports and airports will remain operational and our teams will also be available and able to work remotely.

Our teams throughout the rest of Europe continue to manage freight movements in line with local government guidance. The majority of businesses are open and operational, although the number of those working remotely is increasing.

Our European road transport teams continue to operate with only minor delays at road borders. 
 

Americas

Whilst "shelter in place" orders are coming into effect across more states in the USA, they have not impacted upon the movement of freight in any state as yet. Across Northern and Southern America, Mainfreight branches and depots are open and continue to service our customers, although we are seeing more businesses entering into lockdown in some states, making delivery planning important.

At this point, as an essential services provider, we have seen no disruption in the delivery to our Transport, Air & Ocean, and Warehousing forwarding operations.

The emergence of passenger airlines re-purposing aircrafts to move cargo only is prevalent in the USA. While air cargo rates remain volatile, our team's daily allocation through blocked space agreements do provide some protection.

For ocean freight, our USA teams report business as usual with volumes starting to pick up with the Chinese factories coming back online.

In Canada, our team in Toronto tell us that the situation remains the same as previously advised, with the border closed to all but essential industry. Cargo remains free to move north and south across the border.

In Mexico, our two branches continue to see borders with the USA remain open, although much like Europe there are some delays in crossing with health checks and delays in customs clearance.

Our team in Santiago in Chile reports that the local stay–at–home orders are being enforced. Our offices are considered essential providers and remain open.

We continue to see an escalation in social measures in most parts of the world as governments protect both their population, and support the flow of cargo.

Air freight in the short term remains challenging. However our teams on the ground globally are delivering air cargo solutions as the situation provides opportunity to do so. We expect this situation to stabilise as freighter services come on stream and demand drops with social and local retail restrictions.

Please keep working with your local Mainfreight team to manage freight already in motion. As outlined earlier we have available infrastructure and team to assist through this period.
March 20 Update
While there have been further COVID-19 related announcements over the last 24 hours throughout the world and here in New Zealand, all borders globally remain open and largely unencumbered for trade.

The New Zealand and Australian border closures announced last night do not impact cargo movements, applying only to passengers who are not citizens or permanent residents.

While we do not expect this to have any material impact upon ocean freight services, it is likely to result in further reductions to airline schedules with non-resident visitors to New Zealand accounting for 30% of all inbound passengers last week.

Air freight continues to be a dynamic capacity and rate environment globally, however our teams around the world are successfully maintaining existing service levels, and securing additional in and outbound air cargo space daily.

Our teams in Asia, Europe and the Americas continue to operate effectively, much as we are here in Australasia:
 

Asia

Consistent with advice over the last week, mainland China continues to normalise, including the provinces most heavily impacted by the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Our 14 offices across China, and the shipping lines we work with, are 100% operational, with our team back on site.

Air freight between China and the rest of the world is as constrained by reduced airline schedules as we are seeing in other regions. Cargo-only solutions have been deployed to meet the growing air freight demand, however rate levels remain inconsistent.

Our other Mainfreight Asia teams in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea all advise that while various social measures are in force, they are still operating at, or very close to, normal levels.
 

Europe

The Mainfreight team across Europe report that industry is still productive and the only ocean freight or land transport restrictions relate to delays at border crossings where drivers are being screened.

Our Mainfreight teams in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland continue to report broadly unchanged operational environments from previous updates.

In Italy, Spain and France, the Mainfreight offices are open and operating in accordance with local health guidelines. The majority of our Italian and Spanish customers have met the latest requirements and are also open. Ports and airports continue to process cargo.

As has been reported in the news media, further COVID-19 measures are being introduced in the United Kingdom, however our team advised last night that they are continuing to work on site. Our expectation remains that there will be minimal impact on cargo movement at this stage.
 

North America

The present operational situation for Mainfreight North America remains similar to our last update, with all branches throughout North and South America remaining open.

There were positive COVID-19 test results reported at two freight terminals operated by the Port of Houston Authority yesterday, and they have closed temporarily. We expect them to re-open quickly and have seen no service disruptions thus far.

Our Transport, Warehousing and Air & Ocean network of 65 branches throughout North America continues to operate, with all open and delivering cargo. We have seen no service delays to date.

Although we are in a changeable environment, government actions globally continue to support the unencumbered flow of cargo. Our teams are continuing to operate and maintain a consistent level of service delivery.

As noted earlier, air freight in the short term will prove to be the most impacted mode in global supply chains. Our teams both here in New Zealand, and on the ground globally, are well positioned to continue generating and delivering air cargo solutions as this dynamic and ongoing situation provides opportunity to do so.

Mainfreight Protocol

Coronavirus Protocol within Mainfreight | 27 March 2020
Within Mainfreight we have started below protocol, which helps to minimise the potential spreading of the Coronavirus. We will continue to implement any new protocols as they are advised by the relevant authorities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or use a your bent elbow if you cough or sneeze.
  • Don’t shake hands or kiss as a greeting.
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 30 seconds with soap and water or with a disinfecting alcohol gel. Dry your hands with paper towels.
  • Avoid contact and keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Do not share personal items such as pens, food, drinks, cups etc.
  • Stay at home (or work from home if possible) if you feel ill.
  • Contact your doctor if you have a fever, cough and are short of breath.
  • Inform your supervisor if you have been in risk areas. This includes China, South Korea, Northern Italy, Japan, Iran, Singapore, Hong Kong, United States and Thailand etc.
 

Loading and unloading at suppliers / customers

  • Drivers must disinfect their hands and avoid direct contact. Do not shake hands. Keep 1.5 metre distance.
  • Drivers are not allowed in the warehouse.
  • Use your own pen when processing shipment documents.
  • Use disinfecting gel
 

Loading and unloading cross dock

  • Drivers must disinfect their hands and avoid direct contact. Do not shake hands. 
  • External Drivers are not allowed on the cross dock.
  • Use your own pen when processing shipment documents.
  • Disinfecting gel. Use this also for access control.

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