Morning conversation with the forwarder about Koronovirus. Will coronovirus infect the work of a container driver in major European ports?

1. Do you start your working day with coffee and checking your e-mail account?

I start the day with herbal tea. Drinking coffee at such a nervous job would quickly end. The outlook is not turned off, if I leave the office at 4pm leaving the laptop, I switch to the phone.

2. How long does sea transport from China take? What is the advantage over rail freight?

The transport time depends on the port of loading and service. For example:

  • Dalian - Gdańsk 46 days
  • Qingdao - Gdańsk 42 days
  • Yantian - Gdańsk 32 days

 
This is the time of sea transport itself. Remember about the time needed to unload the container from the ship, its clearance, final delivery to the customer. There are customs searches and scans. The service on which the load flows is also important. Of course, with the transshipment site in Rotterdam / Hamburg, the transport time is extended by a few / several days. Currently, many customers give up sea transport for rail transport. The time of rail transport from the terminal Xian / Chengdu / Wuhan / Hefei - Pruszków / Łódź is about 18 days. It happens that it is less than 14 days.

 

3. From the first reports of coronavirus in Chinese Wuhan to the present day, the situation in ports is changing from week to week. Are China sea forwarding offices open? Do forwarders work remotely from home?

We issued an official order to stay at home. Forwarders shipowners work remotely.

 

4. A day in the life of the forwarder:

The day in forwarding is full of surprises. From minute to minute, the situation can change completely. This is transport and anything can happen here. Of course, the elements remain the same: lots of emails and telephones.

 

5. Does coronavirus infect the work of a container driver in major European ports?

It all depends on how long the factories will remain closed. Some factories plan to return to work on 17.02, others at the beginning of March.
If we observe a significant drop in imports from China in February, then in March and April drivers will receive fewer orders. This will also affect exports, as post-import containers are used for export. If the number of post-import containers decreases, it will be harder to get a container for export.
At present, the drivers have their hands full, as they affect containers that sailed out before the Chinese New Year.

 

6. Do you want to add something?

Let's hope that the situation in China will be quickly controlled because this state already negatively affects the global economy. Most of us don't know what effects this may have. China is mistakenly associated with the production of fakes.

Of course, such production takes place, but global brands have their factories in China. Parts, subassemblies, and final products are produced there. If there is a crash, we will pay for it with the loss of jobs (factory workers in Europe that collect parts from China, port workers, drivers, customs agencies, forwarders, importers) and a price increase (stocks run out and new deliveries closer an unspecified availability date will be more expensive). If China can't handle the virus, production will have to be shifted to Asia / Africa. This is not done overnight ...
 
Thank you for the interview and I encourage drivers to log in to the sites with trips for April / May.

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