The recent COVID outbreak is causing real problems for international trade and transport from and to China at the present time.
Whilst COVID cases are very low compared to the numbers that are accepted in Europe and America, the Chinese policy of a zero case target is causing the world of trade some serious issues.
It seems the epicentre of the current outbreak is the Shanghai area, but this is not the only part of China affected. There are shutdowns too in Beijing and the northeast province. Also affected is the huge Pearl Delta area incorporating the massive Shenzhen manufacturing area with many truckers, port staff and factory workers either not at work, or working from home if they can. Productivity is inevitably affected as a result.
Please be aware of the way these outbreaks are tackled inevitably has a dramatic effect on our ability to do business in China. It may be that a port or airport is open, but the area where your supplier’s factory is located has been closed down.
Another scenario we are finding is that factories are themselves allowed to operate in a ‘bubble’ and so are open, but as the area around them is in lock-down we are not able to get a truck to their address in order to collect from them as the roads are blocked to stop people, including truck and van drivers moving around and spreading the virus.
We do hope that this situation does not turn into a long-term proposition and that a way out of these lockdowns can be found in the near future in order that we can all get back to normality.