1. How has COVID-19 affected the Shipping Industry?

The spread of the coronavirus is affecting the shipping industry in unprecedented ways. As all countries are taking measures to restrict the outbreak, the shipping industry has been majorly impacted.

For Sea Freight: A large number of containers have been stuck in transhipment and the rise of 'Blank Sailings' by shipping lines has led to a shortage of 'Empty Containers'. Trade restrictions across major ports of the world, to prevent the coronavirus outbreak have led to containers being stuck in Transhipment. This is affecting the profitability of shippers on a large scale, as it has led to a delay in the delivery of necessary goods across the globe.

For Air Freight: The massive delay in sea freight shipments has caused freight companies to increase delivery via air freight. However, due to very low passenger numbers globally there has been an unprecedented number of flight cancellations across the network.

2. Are there any updates or restrictions on receiving or sending shipments internationally?

The following update has been sent by DHL and is correct as at 17 March 2020:

US & Canada Region: No Update

China: With the exception of the WUHAN / WHU service centre, all DHL service centres in China have received approval from the authorities to resume normal pickup and delivery services from 09 Mar. WUH service centres will remain under service suspension until further notice

Please find the following highlights for the impact to network:-

- Airport / Flight Operations

- All flights to and from WUH have been cancelled.

- Majority of Intercontinental network flights resumed operation.

- In / Outbound WUH Operation

Italy: Following the news of the decree signed in Italy due to coronavirus on March 8th, this is to inform that DHL can continue to operate as normal so no additional restriction on service level apart from the 11 lockdown cities mentioned below.

Please note that public places such as Museums, Schools, Universities etc. will be closed by decree till April 3rd. Not delivered shipments will be scanned accordingly.

Pickup and delivery service to the 11 lockdown cities mentioned below is suspended until further notice (DCT http://dct.dhl.com/ updated accordingly):

- Bertonico 26821 - MILEAI

- Casalpusterlengo 26841 - MILEAI

- Castelgerundo 26844 - MILEAI

- Castiglione d’Adda 26823 - MILEAI

- Codogno 26845 - MILEAI

- Fombio 26861 - MILEAI

- Maleo 26847 - MILEAI

- San Fiorano 26848 - MILEAI

- Somaglia 26867 - MILEAI

- Terranova dei Passerini 26827 - MILEAI

- Vo Euganeo 35030 - VCEHPD

- Vo Vecchio 35030 - VCEHPD

- Vo 35030 – VCEHPD

Islamic Republic of Iran: As per the GCAA Safety decision 2020-01 issued by Airport operations control, all aircrafts operating scheduled and/or non-schedule flights (including cargo and passenger flights) between the Islamic republic of Iran and UAE shall not be permitted to enter UAE.

Currently there are no alternative flights which can be used for both Inbound and Outbound, so the service to Iran will remain suspended until further notice.

South Korea: COVID-19 infection cases has grown fast over the last few days with about 80% of the cases related to the participants of religious cult gathering in Daegu, 250kms south of Seoul.

On Feb 23, the government raised the alert level to the highest ‘Red’ and the education ministry instructed all schools to delay their coming semester by one week.

DHL services are carried as normal across the country including Pick-Up and Delivery (PUD) services to key accounts and hospitals.

Access control such as quarantine and temperature checks are observed at some of the customer sites, delaying our PUD services.

Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (KP) Service Delays (North Korea): D.P.R.K government announced on Saturday, 22 February 2020 that all flights, trains, trucks and ships in and out of KP are suspended until spreading of Coronavirus is under control. DHL couriers in KP can still perform PUD operations, but the shipment transportation to and from KP is blocked temporarily. Inbound shipments to KP will be on hold at the HONG KONG HUB for the time being. Please expect long service delay into KP.

3. Are there any updates or restrictions on receiving or sending shipments domestically?

At present, there are no restrictions on sending parcels domestically within the UK.

4. With the lockdown measures, what should we do when receiving / signing for deliveries?

All InXpress carrier partners have now implemented the change to support this lockdown period and minimise to risk to our customers and staff.

Effective immediately, drivers will no longer be required to ask for signatures and will instead ask for and record the surname of the customer and record their signatures as "COV" or “CV”.

5. What precautions are InXpress taking with their staff regarding COVID-19?

All InXpress staff are now working from home and our usual admin capabilities (e.g. phone, email, proposal and costing generation, invoicing etc)  remain fully operational during this time of remote working ourselves.  

6. Are there any updates from Carrier Partners?

DHL have provided a statement regarding COVID-19: https://www.logistics.dhl/global-en/home/global-news-alerts/global-messages/coronavirus.html

UPS is providing regular updates at: https://www.ups.com/gb/en/service-alerts.page

DHL Parcel Uk is providing regular updates at: https://www.dhlparcel.co.uk/en/business-users/help-centre/live-service-updates.html

TNT is providing regular updates at: https://www.tnt.com/express/en_gb/site/home.html

FedEx has provided the following document for download: https://www.fedex.com/content/dam/fedex/eu-europe/Digtial-Internation-MVP/images/2020/Q4/COVID_19_Service_Impacts_1087652497.pdf

Whistl updates can be found here: https://www.whistl.co.uk/news/coronavirus-updates

7. Other useful Links related to COVID-19

For further information and regular updates, please refer to the UK’s GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

For information about the Government's support for business during this time, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

For World Health Organisation updates, visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen