An update concerning the effects of COVID-19 on operations and supply chains

An update on how the quickly evolving situation may affect our operations.

Our 21 branches in China, Hong Kong and Macau, are open and operational, and our operations in Wuhan and the Hubei province have largely resumed.

While our teams all over China work hard to cater to our customers’ transportation needs, we remain strongly committed to the safety of our employees and operate under strict observance of local rules and regulations.

The DSV Executive Crisis Board monitors the situation very closely, aligns with both local authorities and international organizations (such as the WHO) and provides all employees and relevant operating units with the necessary information.

Air freight

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, China is currently experiencing an extreme surge in exports of medical products, with governments, NGOs and private companies all increasingly sourcing PPE Products (Personal Protective Equipment) from Chinese manufacturers.

The urgency of the situation and the limited market capacity due to massive passenger flight cancellation have triggered an increase in Air Charter flights involving a wide range of freighters, converted passenger aircrafts and military airplanes. Also, the exports of medical goods are now subject to stricter regulations and customs clearance procedures, leading to huge volumes of cargo stranded in warehouses and airports.

As a result, major airports in China are experiencing backlogs at various levels. The most congested airport is Shanghai Pudong International Airport with long queue of trucks waiting to offload. The average waiting time is 72 hours. Airports in Zhengzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou are likewise very much affected. 

The demand for airfreight solutions in the coming period will continue to see an upturn, which we are accommodating with our scheduled freighter programmes and blocked space agreements with partner airlines to cover all regions involved. To mitigate the capacity shortage led by the flight cancellations, DSV has launched several new charter services where space is 100% DSV controlled, to cater to the need for export from South China to the rest of the world such as Dragon Wings (routings include Hanoi-Hong Kong-Miami, and Hong Kong-Huntsville). Charter services to other locations are available upon requests.

We encourage our customers to provide demand forecasts and to book seven working days prior to the goods being ready for shipment enabling us to optimise use of the available capacity and provide the best possible solutions.

Our alternative solutions:

The Merlion | Sea-Air via Singapore

The Gulf Tiger | Sea-Air via Dubai

Sea freight

In recent weeks, shipowners have cancelled a large number of departures from Chinese ports. Production in China are gradually ramping up and terminal and pick-up/delivery services have largely returned to normal with some limitations in Hubei.

In South China, the factories are back to full production. Demand for export via sea is high, as shippers are shifting from air freight to sea freight to meet their adjusted delivery schedules at destinations. With blank sailings announced for various trade lanes, the overall capacity ex South China is tight, in particular to Oceania, Europe / Mediterranean, and South America East Coast. DSV is working closely with our core carriers to secure space for our customers. For better capacity planning, we encourage our customers to place bookings at least 14 days in advance, and, if possible, up to 4 weeks in advance for the lanes mentioned above.

Given the situation, port authorities and/or carriers may announce surcharges to adapt to the changes in the market. We’ll keep monitoring the situation, and keep you informed. Meanwhile, to avoid the capacity shortage and high rates during peak time, we encourage customers to provide demand forecasts with us so our representatives can work on a solution to ensure minimum disruptions to your supply chain.

Road transport

We see improvements in the overall situation concerning road transportation. Trucking availability in China is back to normal, with enhanced measures for COVID-19 such as temperature checks, health declarations and rapid tests in place for cross border truckers. Backlogs and delays are expected from a few hours to a few days, subject to the various requirements by local authorities in different provinces.

To help resolve the capacity shortage and the high rates via air transport, DSV is offering our clients alternatives such as trucking service from South China to North and Central China, as well as to neighbouring Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore. Borders are still open for cargo transportation with various preventive measures taken by local authorities to contain COVID-19. Contact your DSV account manager to get more information about the latest regulations by ASEAN governments.

Asian Link | Intra-Asia Trucking

Rail Service Connecting China and Europe

We have summarized the key trucking aspects in the below table, which are updated frequently by DSV China.

For urgent enquiries, please reach out to your account manager. Thank you.