Coronavirus Triggers Delayed Re-Opening of Chinese Offices

As China and much of Asia have been on short term leave following the celebration of Chinese New Year, which occurred January 24, 2020, the Coronavirus has taken hold. Much of China is now presumably exposed to the Coronavirus. Early estimates as well as recent reports from Chinese officials placed exposure and death levels at conservative numbers, however as information spreads, the numbers are growing more staggering by the hour.

It is believed that up to 100,000 individuals may now be infected with the virus, which has been confirmed in more than 13 counties at this time. Hong Kong closed its borders to Chinese travelers yesterday. The US Stock market and markets abroad have reacted in panic over the continuing news.

In the world of trade, we don’t yet know what impacts might be seen. However, local authorities in China have made announcements that will impact the smooth resumption of cargo transport. Offices in China were scheduled to re-open from the national holiday on February 2. We have just learned that local government authorities have now advised that offices in Shanghai and Ningbo are not to resume operations until February 10, aiding in the control of the Coronavirus.

With this government sanctioned extended closure, shippers may face difficulty resuming exports from China as fast as generally anticipated.