Global Supply Chain Update: COVID19

Posted 03/23/2020

The global supply chain is still in the thick of it battling the impact of COVID19. Many countries have closed their borders to international travel and have shut down non-essential business operations to keep people inside in an attempt to flatten the curve of this virus. Countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, and New Zealand, are in lock down mode in an effort to eliminate the spread, which has been shown effective based on countries like China and South Korea which are seeing some relief after many weeks.

Essential businesses such as food and beverage production have been allowed to continue in most countries, and thankfully wine and spirits production and distribution has been considered essential. All logistics and supply chain business are also considered essential and WSSA and all Albatrans global offices are fully functional operating with teams in office and working remotely as needed. Operations are continuing at 100% but reporting some delays in receiving updates from truckers and carriers due to businesses operating at half-staff and from home.

We will provide an “around the world” report in our webinar Wednesday, highlighting some of the more problematic areas as well as managing enhanced risk elements due to the situation. We have received reports from Albatrans European offices that equipment is difficult to come by at inland depots and reefer containers are becoming scarce. Responses from carriers are slower, and there are reports of delays in intra-European travel as truckers are stopped and tested at borders. From Mexico, we are seeing a lack of truckers at the Laredo border going into various USA areas and we expect this to get worse before it gets better.  From Chile, we are evaluating the border situation in Argentina and also seeing a short supply of space to the US West Coast. Nevertheless, we keep shipping and are here to help you with any questions or concerns during this difficult time.

On the USA side, we are participating in conference calls with various USA ports, and receiving a constant flow of information from ocean carriers, ports, and truckers. The goal of all of us in the logistics industry is to keep business flowing. Ports are NOT expected to close but this could change depending on the severity of the spread of the virus.

WSSA, along with other industry associations is supporting the various relief efforts put forth, from pushing for CBMA pending refunds, to supporting rollback of the EU tariffs. We are still awaiting for the protocols for duty deferral, and will send along as soon as received from CBP/US Customs. We are all working together to support our industry and your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

We will continue to provide information and updates as soon as we receive them. As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and please stay safe.