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Coronavirus Update

COVID-19 Market Update

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The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) has urged governments to act to ensure that ports remain open to allow the freight and logistics sector to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis. FIATA noted that international air, sea and land trade and logistics corridors, although severely affected by COVID-19, “continue to function” – although only just.

It said decisions by governments to contain the virus “need to address the consequences of a complete halt to trade and the short- and long-term effect such decisions will have on their economies and their citizens,” stressing that it is the “logistics chain that will bring much-needed medical support and equipment, in the first instance, and rebuild key items in the second wave.”

Some Asia Nations, Canada, Chile Pledge to Protect Supply Chains: A group of Asia-Pacific countries, Canada and Chile pledged Wednesday to do what they can to uphold open and connected supply chains as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to tip the global economy into recession.

The governments said they “are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains” as part of a collective effort to battle the virus, according to a joint statement of officials from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The group agreed not to impose export controls or tariffs and non-tariff barriers on goods. It also affirmed the importance of removing any existing trade restrictive measures on essential products, such as medical supplies. Read more in an article from BNN Bloomberg.

The U.S. government has approved a $2.2 trillion relief aid package—known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—for the economic downturns of the novel coronavirus outbreak, including up to $61 billion in financial assistance and loans for U.S. airlines. To qualify, U.S. airlines are required to forgo layoffs and furloughs until September 30, accept limits on executive compensation and stock buybacks, and maintain routes as prescribed by Washington.

Country Focus: China

Civil Aviation Administration of China – Notice on Further Reducing International Passenger Flights during the Epidemic Prevention and Control Period

To All Transport Airlines:
In order to resolutely contain the increasing risks of imported COVID-19 cases, and in accordance with the requirements of the State Council for joint prevention and control of the epidemic, it is decided to further reduce the number of international passenger flights. Details of the requirement are as follows:

  1. On the basis of the Information on International Flight Plans (Phase Five) released on the official website of CAAC on March 12, each Chinese airline is only
    DISCLAIMER – All information is provided in good faith for guidance and reference purposes only. It is of a general informational nature, and KWE Canada takes no legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided via this document. KWE Canada makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the  information contained herein and accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of the information provided. allowed to maintain one route to any specific country with no more than one flight per week; each foreign airline is only allowed to maintain one route to China with no more than one weekly flight.
  2. Airlines shall, in accordance with the requirements above, apply for Pre-Flight plans to the Operation Supervisory Center of CAAC in advance.
  3. The Operating Permits and take-off/landing slots, etc. associated with the flights cut by airlines in accordance with requirements of this Notice will be retained.
  4. Airlines shall strictly implement the latest edition of Preventing Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guideline for Airlines issued by the Office of China
    Civil Aviation Prevention and Control COVID-19 Leading Group, take stringent prevention and control measures on the flights to/from China and ensure passenger
    load factor no higher than 75%.
  5. In accordance with the need for epidemic containment, CAAC may issue policy to further reduce the total number of international passenger flights. Airlines
    therefore are required to closely follow information released, analyze the situation and make contingency plans in advance, and handle in a proper way the issues
    such as extension and refund of sold air tickets, etc.
  6. Airlines may operate all-cargo flights with passenger aircraft, which will not be counted against the total number of passenger flights operated.
  7. Flight plans adjusted by airlines in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Notice shall be implemented as of March 29, 2020.
  8. This Notice shall take effect on the date of its issuance, and the expiration date will be notified separately. As of the date of taking effect of this Notice, the
    Notice MHF [2020] No. 11 issued by CAAC shall become invalid

Air Freight

Passenger airlines morph into cargo carriers, with freight capacity scarce, the number of passenger airlines offering dedicated charter flights is proliferating. More passenger airlines are helping fill the severe shortage in freight capacity by turning their aircraft into cargo-only airplanes to haul critical medical supplies, foodstuffs and other economically essential goods

Air Canada: Air Canada said on March 25 it launched its first cargo-only flights this week from Toronto to Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam using Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s capable of carrying 35 tons of cargo – the equivalent of 80 grand pianos. More “mini-freighter” flights are planned for Latin America. On its website, the carrier also offers Boeing 777 planes that can carry 40 tons of cargo.

The airline said it is also exploring opportunities, in conjunction with local governments, to sell the service domestically based on assessments of demand to move relief goods from multiple markets within Canada. Air Canada Express regional aircraft will be used to serve smaller or remote regions in Canada.

Air Canada Cargo said it charges shippers and freight forwarders a flat rate for both directions and is introducing a partial-load program, so shippers that don’t require a whole aircraft can book space. The arrangements contain clear provisions to ensure that the goods being moved are being sold at fair market rates and to authorized suppliers. To facilitate the cargo-only flights, Air Canada Cargo has created five, segment-specific sales teams to focus on the unique needs of customers at different levels of the supply chain.

Lufthansa: Deutsche Lufthansa AG said the first passenger aircraft with cargo as the only payload landed March 25 from China at Frankfurt International Airport carrying 30 tons of masks, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies for combatting the COVID-19 virus. In addition to the cargo compartments, Lufthansa Cargo workers also filled the stowage compartments above the seats of the Airbus A330.

United Airlines: More than offering a handful of random flights, United says it will initially operate a schedule of 40 cargo charters each week, using 777 and 787 aircraft, between the U.S. and international locations. United Cargo said in a news release that its first cargo-only flight departed March 19 from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Frankfurt International Airport with 29,000 pounds of goods in the hold.

Delta Air Lines: Delta said it operated a freight-only flight from Dublin to Atlanta on March 24 carrying 32,000 pounds of medical supplies on an Airbus A350 and expects to make more runs this week. Ireland is home to two dozen of the top biotech and pharmaceutical firms in the world. On the same day, two Boeing 777-200 long-range planes took off from Los Angeles for Sydney, Australia, with more than 80 tons of cargo.

American Airlines: The world’s largest airline (measured by the number of passengers and distance carried) is expanding its pure cargo program with two more round trips between Dallas-Fort Worth and Frankfurt later this week and two more April 2-3, spokeswoman Laura Bassel said. American launched its cargo-only service last week with flights connecting Dallas-Fort Worth and Frankfurt.

LATAM Airlines: The Chilean-based carrier, which is 20% owned by Delta Air Lines, said it recently operated its first passenger-as-freighter flights between Santiago and Mexico City using Boeing 787-900 aircraft, each carrying about 40 tons of product – mostly salmon. It also used an Airbus A320 airplane to move perishable products, medicines and other goods between Lima and Iquitos, Peru, a remote region that is difficult to reach by land or sea.

LAN Cargo employees are also making use of the upper deck by putting boxes in the seats, which are protected with a cover.

The company also said it has modified routes and increased the frequencies for its fleet of 11 Boeing 767-300 freighters to help address the current shortfall in cargo capacity. There is now five times more freighter capacity on the Santiago-Miami lane, primarily helping salmon exporters, and 20% more capacity between Europe and South America. The six weekly frequencies will support delivery of automotive spare parts, medicines and other products to South America and shipments of perishable products to Europe.

In addition, frequencies between North and South America were increased by almost 15%, totaling 26 flights. And LATAM will begin operating between Santiago and Los Angeles supporting salmon transportation, with the return route stopping in Mexico City and Lima, to offload technology and healthcare products, and spare parts.

Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic operated its first-ever dedicated cargo charter on March 22 from London to New York using a Boeing 787. The plane carried 12,500 kilograms of pharmaceutical and medical supplies. The airline said it has more supplementary cargo flights scheduled this week.

Etihad Airways: Etihad’s cargo division is offering to operate 34 weekly flights to 10 markets with 787-10s as cargo aircraft. Each airplane will have room for 12 lower deck pallets and four containers, with a payload of 45 tons.

The passenger-to-freighter network will insert capacity into India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and other locations. The service complement’s Etihad’s fleet of Boeing 777 freighters. The company said it is also beefing up its freighter schedule with additional flights into Hong Kong, London, Riyadh and Shanghai.

Air New Zealand: The carrier is putting 787-9 Dreamliner’s into service as cargo airplanes, with space for 11 cargo pallets. It is also offering fractional charters designed to help small- and medium-size shippers that only need part of the cargo hold for their goods.

China Eastern Airlines: The airline stated on its website that it has used passenger airplanes in the cargo-only configuration to move medical supplies. A couple of flights went to the Czech Republic, with part of the shipment loaded in passenger seats, IATA’s Hughes said.

Cathay Pacific: Cathay Pacific is heavily marketing its cargo-only passenger schedules, saying it is able to rapidly flex capacity with additional flights on an ad hoc or charter basis, where it makes economic sense.

Vancouver Port Unloading Container Ships
Vancouver Port Unloading Container Ships

Sea Freight

FMC presses to finalize container availability rule. The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission’s legal staff is expected to deliver its final demurrage and detention rulemaking assessment to the commissioners in the next several weeks

Market Sources

Market Sources

This announcement applies to all World Wide Customs Brokers services, including our Air Freight, Sea Freight, Ground Freight and Logistics. World Wide Customs  Brokers is continuously monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as the information becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact your local World Wide Customs Brokers representative.

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