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COVID-19 - UPDATE

Please find below our latest update on COVID-19, which today reportedly affects 210 countries and territories; the current status of operations in the USA, Asia and Europe as well as the UK, and measures taken across all Woodland Group offices.

As COVID-19 cases increase across Europe, USA and the UK, we continuously review our global operations to protect the health and safety of you, our staff and communities and thank you for your trust and support in managing these unprecedented times together.

All Woodland Group offices and warehouses worldwide are open and will continue to follow respective local government, state or federal regulations. The transport industry is key in supporting our communities and social and economic infrastructures through this pandemic, and as such, our staff are considered 'key' or 'essential workers' and will continue to work to keep your supply chains going.

  • All but our 'key workers' are working remotely and still available via their usual contact details with all phones, emails and internal software fully operational.
  • Our teams across the globe can provide agile transport and fulfilment solutions to support you through these unprecedented times.
  • We have introduced additional strict site protocol and have put measures in place to avoid external and internal third-party contact for our drivers and warehouse staff who continue to move product and meet public demand.
  • Please find below a global overview - please don't hesitate to contact your local Woodland representative should you have any questions.

General Air freight

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has projected the re-opening dates of airports for international passenger flights as per the below provided by ATC News. A detailed status update by airport can be found here. The re-opening of flights will improve capacity and help regulate airfreight rates. 

General

  • Airlines are starting to slowly increase service routes again and will continue to re-open routes over the coming weeks
  • Airfreight rates are plateauing and even softening but capacity to & from Europe & the USA is still more than 50% lower than the same time last year (as of 12th June)
  • Driven by surging trade volumes and blank sailings, the Asia-USA ocean trade has seen an increase in rates and booking backlogs.
  • The US is implementing the government's plans as to the re-opening of US businesses across all states. This initial guidance outlines a multi-phased approach which will differ state by state and will require a significant number of safety policies and employee health screenings to be implemented. Restaurants and pubs as well as other nonessential businesses are reopening with all 50 states having now at least partially reopened.
  • The USA has seen the highest absolute decrease in year-over-year air capacity with a total decrease of over 20% compared to June 2019.

Find our latest transatlantic sailing schedule eastbound and westbound here.

Los Angeles

  • Ocean Freight – LA/LGB ports remain open and operational. The Container Freight Stations have warehouse operations open, office hours are back to normal, but office staff is still mainly working remotely. Release of import cargo is taking a bit longer than normal due to office staff capabilities being reduced. Terminal closures are being rotated, so they can be cleaned and sanitised.
  • Air Freight – capacity from LAX continues to be reduced. Passenger airlines are flying cargo only charter flights and small numbers of passenger seated flights from LAX & SFO to certain destinations. 
  • As per state regulations, all our staff are working remotely until the work from home mandate is lifted. All staff can be contacted via their usual contact details and the office phone line is open as normal.
  • Our LA warehouse is operational as normal, receiving goods between 8am to 5pm.

Chicago

  • Ocean Freight – The Chicagoland Rail Ramps/CY’s remain open and operational. The Container Freight Stations have warehouse operations open with some office staff working remotely. Release of import cargo is taking a bit longer than normal due to office staff capabilities being reduced.
  • Air Freight – capacity from Chicago continues to be reduced however flights and volume are both slowly trending back up.
  • Our warehouse is fully operational and office staff are working partially remotely.
  • All our staff can be reached via their usual contact details and the office phone line is open as normal.

New Jersey Office/Warehouse

  • Warehouse – we are operating as usual, receiving hours 7:30AM – 4PM.  We are fully staffed and will continue to move airfreight / ocean consols as usual, taking space / booking limitations into consideration.
  • Office – while partial staff are working from home, we will remain fully operational with staff in the office to cover phones.
  • Ocean Freight- NJNY Ports remain open as will local Container Freight Stations. Import releases may be delayed.

Woodland NYC

  • Our office staff have been working remotely since WED 3/18 and will continue to. All phones are diverted and will be covered remotely by staff. 

Woodland Atlanta

  • Our office remains open, with partial staff in the office and partial working remotely.

Woodland Boston

  • Our office remains open and is fully staffed.

USA Trucking:

Truckers across the US remain operational. 

The UK government announced additional easing of restrictions with additional opening of businesses and return to work from 4th July onwards, provided strict social distancing and health and safety measures can be adhered to. An overview of businesses allowed to open from 4th July, and those still required to stay closed, can be found here
Woodland Group UK:
  • All staff not required in the warehouse as 'essential workers' are working from home 
  • Staff working remotely are still available via their usual contact details with all phones, emails and internal software fully operational.
  • All UK warehouses are fully operational.

Woodland Logistics / UK trucking

  • Our office-based staff are working remotely and available via their normal contact details with operational fleet planning and management going ahead as usual
  • All of our drivers have been working tirelessly alongside our warehouse staff and global teams to supply the public and public services with much-needed goods safely and timely.

Airfreight

Services have continued to increase to/from the UK, however, not to pre-pandemic levels yet. Rates to/from Asia have generally softened on the main routes. US rates have remained high on exports but we are slowly starting to see options coming through.

Airline handling surcharges still remain in place for some carriers.

 

 

  • Ports and airports remain operational and the Department of Transport has now confirmed that deliveries to non-essential business can be made throughout Ireland also.
  • The Department of Transport has also ruled that free time for containers at Dublin port will be reduced to a maximum of 7 days from the vessel’s arrival date.
  • Our Woodland Ireland team are continuing to provide supply chain solutions nationally and internationally while working remotely and can be contacted via their normal email and phone numbers, with office numbers being redirected.
  • Across Europe, lockdown measures are being lifted cautiously with businesses reopening and children across several countries such as Portugal, Greece, Austria, Germany, Denmark and France at least partially (by age group) back in school. 
  • The three Baltic states - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - have become the first countries in Europe to allow free movement again, but only with each other.
  • Transport across Europe currently remains operational with Woodland's European team processing enquiries as normal, and our our warehouses and transport fleet fully operational
  • Most European countries have an un restricted movement of vehicles however border checks are creating extra waiting times and adding to transit times door-door. Increasing border restrictions are leading to potential cargo blockage on the following borders: Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Greece, Turkey
  • While transport and supply chain companies remain operational across Europe, there are country specific restrictions being enforced/introduced including rules around vehicles transiting and/or maximum operating times of international drivers from certain countries before having to exit. 
  • Couriers across Europe are experiencing delivery delays (between 2-4 days) due to reduced staffing levels and some postcodes in France and Italy are not receiving home deliveries due to lockdown measures taken locally.
  • All carriers operating routes from Asia to Europe are operating normally but capacity on the Asia-Europe trade route remains 10% lower than at this time last year. (as of 12th June)
  • Over 70% of air trade from Asia Pacific to USA now originates from China. Japan is one of the countries with the strongest decline, with almost 14 p.p. lost in market share; market share fluctuations in February are mainly caused by Spring Festival
  • Airfreight rate increases between Asia Pacific and Europe showed signs of slowing down last week as coronavirus lockdown measures began to be eased. This is the first decline on the trade since February 24, but prices are still far above the $2.47 per kg achieved for the week last year.
  • Freight capacity is an issue that is continuing, reductions of around 25-30% on Asia/UK/Europe trade mean space is very constrained with demand exceeding supply.
  • The impact on port terminals due to congestion can result in potentially longer transit times (due to slow steaming, port omissions or additional port inclusions as a result of service mergers, sudden/unexpected delays in uplift, less frequent departures and higher rates. Please contact your local Woodland representative to discuss options and alternatives.
  • Space Protection: we can guarantee space protection for priority products over any other product currently moving – ideal for shipping PPE

Ocean freight update

Please find the latest update on blank sailings here:

Who Where When What
THE Alliance Asia and North Europe Week 19 - 26 FE2 and FE4 loops will be merged
Asia and the Mediterranean Week 25  MD1 void
Week 26 MD2 void
Transpacific - West Coast Week 25  PS3, PN3 and PN4 void
Week 26 PS4 void
Week 19 - 26 PS5 will be suspended
Transpacific - East Coast (via Panama and Suez Canals) week 19 - 26 EC3 remains merged with EC1
Asia and the Middle East week 19 - 26 AG1 and AG3 loops will be merged
week 19 - 26 AG2: a westbound direct call to Xiamen port will be added
  CMA CGM 20th June FAL3 from Qingdao cancelled
22nd June MEX 2 from Qingdao cancelled
11th July BEX from Pusan cancelled
11th July FAL3 from Qingdao cancelled
14th July PHOEX from Shanghai cancelled
26th July MEX 1 from Shanghai cancelled
4th August PHOEX from Shanghai cancelled
18th August PHOEX from Shanghai cancelled
MAERSK Asia to North Europe Week 25 AE7 from Hamburg cancelled
   

China is now the largest country for outbound international air cargo capacity, recovering strongly with its capacity being 7% above January pre-Spring Festival levels. Meanwhile the US and UK cargo capacity has shown limited recovery.

Hong Kong

  • A promising improvement on the Hong Kong to Europe market is continuing, with reported volumes increasing week on week.
  • Our Hong Kong office is fully operational.
  • Hong Kong is experiencing severe capacity shortage due to cancelled passenger flights.
  • Airfreight rate increases have shown signs of slowing down with a 3% week-on-week decline for rates from Hong Kong to Europe, the first time prices on this trade declined since April 13. Meanwhile, prices continued to rise on services to North America. From Hong Kong there was a week-on-week increase of 3.5% and from Shanghai to North America an 11% jump.

China

18th June: Beijing has imposed a soft lockdown on the entire city after more than 100 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases were confirmed. The city has raised its alert level from Level 3 to Level 2.

  • The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued an urgent announcement to airlines to apply for advance flight plans for international flights one or two months in advance. It also said the "five one" policy will remain in place until at least October. "Five one" refers to the regulations on one airline, one country, one route, one week and one flight, which came into effect on March 29.
  • The severe backlog of cargo at the Shanghai airport continues to ease, the market is softening as surges to capacity over the past 2 weeks have met export demand.
  • Rates are no longer climbing and dropped around 10-20% this week.
  • Passenger freighters out of China have decreased 30% since mid-May
  • 15 airlines, including United Airlines and Air Russia Airlines, plan to resume flights to China throughout July. Although more than 30 ports are qualified to accept inbound routes, according to the policy of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the first batch of routes will still be concentrated in Shanghai.
  • On June 26, China Eastern airlines submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the 2020 summer and winter flight schedules. China Eastern Airlines plans to operate 45 China-US flights per week during the mid-summer season (August 1 to October 24).
  • Specific flights include:
    • Chengdu - Nanjing - Los Angeles, 3 flights per week;
    • Shanghai Pudong - Los Angeles, 14 flights per week;
    • Fuzhou - Shanghai Pudong - New York Kennedy, 7 flights per week;
    • Shanghai Pudong - New York Kennedy, 7 flights per week;
    • Shanghai Pudong - San Francisco, 7 flights per week;
    • Shanghai Pudong - Chicago, 4 flights per week;
    • Taiyuan - Shanghai Pudong - Chicago, 3 flights per week.
  • China Customs officially released the "Notice of the General Administration of Customs No. 53 in 2020" in relation to export commodity inspections of PPE and medical equipment. 
    • Together with our partners and local suppliers, we guide you through this - please contact us here and find answers to your Top 5 questions on how to import PPE here.
  • All ports are open and are operating normally.
  • NEW LOCKDOWN: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced a complete lockdown in four districts, including Chennai, from June 19th to 30th to counteract the increase in new coronavirus cases in the state. The lockdown will be in place across the Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts of Tamil Nadu.
  •  

    Find the latest government guidelines regarding the phased re-opening here and a full freight update here
  • Air / Sea capacity remains at a premium and the air freight rate is high due to limited international flight operations.
  • Cargo freighters or passenger planes with only cargo are being allowed and no international passenger flight is expected to resume until midnight of 30th June at least.
  • There is severe shortage of inventory with carriers.
  • Individual states will have different lockdown regulations depending on the number of COVID-19 cases locally. Zones / states have been categorised as RED / ORANGE / GREEN depending on the number of cases and ease of restrictions implemented accordingly.
  • The Home Ministry instructed all state government authorities to allow free movement of all essential goods to/from ports and intra & inter-state movement of trucks etc. 
  • Despite the Indian ports facing no lockdown restrictions, a severe shortage of workers and the closure of warehouses has resulted in cargo not being cleared leading to backlog and slowing down operations at ports and terminals considerably.
  • Our team in India remains operational, with all staff working from home. If you have essential goods that need delivering or need support with documentation or other supply chain services, please contact us here. 

Rail 

We operate an express rail solution from various origins in China to the UK: 
  • Both LCL and FCL 
  • 13-15 day transit window
  • 17-19 day door to door service 
  • Pricing levels are at approximately 10% of the cost of current market airfreight levels 

Contact us here for more information.

Storage

If you are affected by businesses closures due to COVID 19 Government Guidelines, we can support with the following through our owned offices and local expertise across the UK, USA and Asia:

  • Warehousing at origin using our Delayed in Transit ( DIT) Facilities in China and USA
  • Warehousing across the UK / Ireland offering both short and long term storage
  • Bonded Storage Facilities in UK & Ireland
  • Off Quay Container Storage in the UK and Ireland

Contact us here for more information.

Ocean

While ports across the globe remain operational, the impact on global industries, changing demands and current financial climate has resulted in a need for more flexible solutions to full container (FCL) shipping.

Did you know you can switch to smaller but more frequent ordering of goods to service reduced demand and keep cost down?

We keep you moving.

Our less than container load shipping (LCL) solution delivers:

  • 17/18x weekly groupage boxes into Felixstowe from all key ports in China
  • 40/50 TEU consolidations per week from all major gateway ports in Hong Kong & China
  • Express and Standard, twice weekly LCL sailings between US and UK
  • Instant online pricing & booking via the Woodland web platform
  • Zero COVID-19 surcharges on LCL services
  • Own consolidation and deconsolidation operations in the USA, U.K., Ireland and China

Contact us here for more information.

 

We will continue to update you on any changes to our global offices and/or effects on supply chain solutions.
 
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with your local Woodland representative should you have any questions - thank you for your continued trust and support.

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