Virus Disruptions Now Going Worldwide

As China makes some progress in stemming new cases of COVID-19, new outbreaks occur in Italy, South Korea & Iran, and effects are felt as far as Australia, North America & Europe.


As China makes some progress in stemming new outbreaks of COVID-19 and a trickle of workers return to its factories, outbreaks are now becoming more widespread across the globe - in particular Northern Italy, South Korea and Iran. Airlines and countries are continuing to restrict travel to prevent the further spread of the disease outside the borders of Chinese territory.

While many airline services are being cut on routes in Middle Eastern and Asian regions, the effects of the corona virus on air travel can be felt as far as Australia, North America and Europe.

The Italian Government has tightened safety measures in areas with Coronavirus infections in Northern Italy. Several cities in the country are declared as quarantine zone and can only be accessed, left or passed through with special permissions.

The South Korean government is implementing new additional containment and mitigation strategies, considering the situation in region. In the so-called special management regions (Daegu and Cheongdo) the measures are focused on isolating and treating potential cases. Due to the implications of the “red alert” level in South Korea, many companies based in Seoul decided to implement a remote working system.

In China, companies and factories are gradually resuming work, but it varies across provinces. Organisations that have received approval from local authorities to reopen are currently operating at approximately 10 – 50% of their normal working capacity. It appears the main issue continues to be a shortage of staff in the transport arena driven by both the inability of workers to get back to their home provinces due to internal travel restrictions, aligned with their personal concerns of returning to face to face environments. Transport is also impacted as movements between provinces is also being restricted.

Container shipping lines have reacted to the situation with an additional 32 void sailings on top of the Lunar New Year blank sailings – removing a total capacity of 350,000 TEU per week. Most carriers are taking measures by announcing a Congestion Surcharge, or Cost Recovery surcharges, with immediate effect to cope with the situation and freight rates are also expected to spike in response to the space shortages on both imports and exports.

As licensed Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders, Colless Young offers you correct, professional advice on all your import and export shipping needs. We are based in Brisbane and handle cargo at all major ports and airports around Australia.