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COVID-19 - UPDATE 16-20th March

Please find below our latest update on the Covid-19 virus, which today reportedly affects 132 countries and territories; the current status of operations in Asia and Europe as well as the UK, and measures taken across all Woodland Group offices.

Woodland General

All Woodland Group offices and warehouses worldwide currently remain open as usual and will continue to follow respective local government, state or federal regulations. 

We continue to review our global operations to protect the health and safety of our teams, partners, clients and communities and to ensure we keep servicing your logistics needs efficiently and economically.

  • Staff and managers are fully briefed on the latest government guidance on keeping our teams and customers safe and we’ve facilitated increased hygiene standards. 
  • We have stopped all unnecessary international or national travel and, instead of face to face meetings, will rely on technology to stay connected with you over the coming weeks. 
  • We have implemented remote working for the vulnerable and have reduced office-based staff with staff working remotely on rotation to mitigate risk. We will be able to facilitate 100% at home working for office staff if and when required.
  • Staff working remotely are still available via their usual contact details with all phones, emails and internal software fully operational
  • We have introduced additional strict site protocol and have put measures in place to avoid external and internal third party contact for drivers and warehouse staff.
  • We have a situation management team in place that is dedicated to continuously monitor the latest developments and we are in daily contact with key suppliers and partners to ensure you and your business are receiving correct and timely advice and solutions suitable to you as this situation develops. 

These unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and having seen our teams find solutions to deliver enormous quantities of toilet paper and record numbers of cleaning and hygiene products as well as hospital equipment over the last couple of weeks across the globe, we are confident that we can continue to deliver your supply chain solutions and overcome COVID-19 together.

UK & Ireland

The UK government announced on 18th March that schools are to close from 20th March onwards (except for children of key workers and vulnerable children) while businesses are to remain open across the UK for now. Additional guidance on self-isolation for those with symptoms has been given and international travel advised against.

Schools, colleges and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland are to be closed until 29th March with businesses advised to remain open.  


The USA confirmed that all passenger travel from the 26 countries in the Schengen border-free travel areas of Europe will be banned as of midnight Friday 13th March causing airlines to reduce the number of chartered flights.

Update as of 16th March:

The US government announced that it will not be permitting international passenger flights from the U.K. nor Ireland to enter or depart from the US either, with significant effect on air cargo capacity and on pricing levels. Our teams have so far been successful in getting access to capacity and will continue to work on securing space for our regular cargo movements.

China & Hong Kong

Good news from China as the situation keeps improving and dedicated hospitals are able to close again.

Our Woodland Hong Kong office is fully operational and offices across China have reopened. Quarantines are ending and travel restrictions easing, with factories 80-90% operational.

While trucking operations are continuing to recover quickly and supply chain ground operations are recovering, cargo capacity remains extremely tight.


Cancelled passenger flights to Hong Kong have resulted in severe capacity shortage and increased rates. 

Air Freight rates from China/Shanghai have seen significant increase and there’s a backlog due to late ocean orders now being directed to air and limited capacity.

It is expected that additional passenger flights will be cancelled as the virus spreads across Europe, affecting rates and capacity of all air freight movements - please expect transit time to be longer.

Should you currently have any bookings pending and you’d like us to look at alternative options, such as rail/ sea due to the current market rate levels, please let us know.


Lack of equipment and blank sailings are causing capacity issues and carriers have now implemented GRI and PSS on a significant number of lanes.

Please be advised to book at the earliest opportunity to enable us to secure available space. 


While schools are closed and travel restrictions from several countries and regions in place, offices in Japan currently remain open. Some vessels between China and Japan have been cancelled and sailing schedules are unstable. Many flights to and from Japan are cancelled or downsized to smaller body aircrafts, resulting in reduced cargo space. Customs processes remain as usual.


To help contain the spread of the virus through Europe, several countries and territories, such as Bavaria in Germany, France and Croatia have decided to close all schools and kindergarten from Monday, 16th March.

Transport across Europe currently remains operational. We’re monitoring this closely and will update you should this change.

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