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 domestically?

National shipments are authorised for Essential Service Providers.  During the lockdown, no domestic shipments are allowed to other industries.

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

Goods imported can be delivered to authorised Essential Service Providers.  If your company has workstations at home and requires deliveries at a residential address, additional documentation is required.  Your company will be required to be an authorised Essential Service Provider before shipments can be collected to export.

4. What documentation is required for shipping? 

In South Africa, domestic and international shipments require similar documentation which includes the below.  Reach out to your InXpress Shipping Specialist who will be able to provide you with templates for a smooth process.

- Certificate from CIPC which qualifies you as an Essential Service Provider

- A Letter on your company letterhead stating that you are a registered and qualified Essential Service Provider with a description of the essential goods in transit

- A Warranty Letter

- If delivery is not at the company address as stated on your CIPC Certificate, a Letter is required to confirm the delivery address and individual details.

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

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

FedEx has provided the following document for download: https://www.fedex.com/en-za/coronavirus.html

7. Other useful Links related to COVID-19

Department of Health: Republic of South Africa: http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/465-corona-virus-outbreak

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

Government support for businesses: http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/465-corona-virus-outbreak  

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