Resilience360 monitors and produces a weekly summary of supply chain impacts due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The update is provided free-of-charge to the industry.
Major COVID-19 developments over the past week:
- On February 19, Denmark announced border closures with Germany due to a COVID-19 variant outbreak in the city of Flensburg in Germany. 13 border crossings will be closed, with 9 others receiving increased security measures. A nightly curfew was also imposed in the border city of Flensburg from 21:00 until 05:00 local time daily until February 26.
- The Government of Italy extended a travel ban between regions until at least March 27 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, a nationwide curfew is in place from 22:00 to 05:00 local time, which will be in effect until March 5. The ban applies to all non-essential travel between all regions, regardless of which zone they are in under Italy’s tiered system of restrictions.
- The state government of Maharashtra, India has announced new COVID-19 guidelines including lockdowns and nightly curfews across various regions in the state. Affected locations include Amravati district, which will undergo a week-long complete lockdown from February 21 with only essential services allowed to operate; Nashik and Pune districts, with nightly curfews; and Yavatmal district with a 10-day lockdown starting on February 25.
- Authorities in Kuwait will close land and sea borders from February 24 to March 20 to combat COVID-19, with an exemption for cargo operations. Moreover, Kuwait ocean ports are prohibited from servicing foreign vessels arriving from or departing to several countries including China, Hong Kong, and Iran.
- Despite Chinese New Year, ocean cargo spot rates have remained very elevated on both the transatlantic and transpacific routes, and supply and demand could remain tight until the third quarter of 2021. In addition to high rates, shippers need to pay additional surcharges, including container retention and expedited booking fees of several thousand euros/dollars amid an ongoing equipment imbalance.
- Due to staff shortages caused in part by COVID-19, high volumes of incoming air freight have caused backlogs at warehouses operated by ground handling agents at Frankfurt International Airport, with delays reported both on the import and export side. Some carriers have thus diverted cargo to other European gateways.