Our team in Australia, the United States and New Zealand has remained fully operational during these trying times with our office teams working online remotely after implementing our successful “Work from Home” plan just over a two weeks ago. Stockwell’s warehouse and bond remain open and continue to provide unpack, storage, cargo receival and dispatch services. Most importantly, Stockwell International’s top priority is ensuring the safety of our people, our vendors and our clients by following government guidelines as they are announced.
Between states, borders have been closed to travellers however, they do remain open for essential services, in which the transport of cargo as freight and logistics are confirmed to be considered essential. Therefore, we shouldn’t see any interruptions to your cargo domestically.
Deferring of Duty/GST
As proud members of the Freight and Trade Alliance, Stockwell International is supporting the proposal to the Treasury and Australian Tax Office where importers can be provided with relief in the form of deferring Duty, GST and Import Processing Charges. Progress to this proposal is still pending from the Federal Government and we will continue to follow this subject.
As mentioned, because freight and logistic services are considered essential, Australia’s are and sea ports remain operational, while seeing a significant reduction in cargo volumes. Port employees continue to adhere to the 14-day transit rule before unloading vessels. Australian Border Force has reassigned staff to numerous areas of biosecurity operations including mail and cargo clearances due to severely reduced numbers of travellers entering Australia. Another excellent example of how we can keep Australia moving.
With our longstanding relationships with our partners and affiliated offices overseas, Stockwell’s has been in close contact with these connections who have provided updates regularly on their current situations locally. Please read on below:
China: Increased container volumes are being reported as most factories have returned to work, with the exception of Wuhan who are due to go back to work on 8 April. Because of volume increase, sea freight demand has exceeded vessel capacity, which will result in delayed uplift. Likewise, airfreight volume has increased and as predicted the limited number of airlines that have maintained their services have limited space. We ask you to please continue to stay in contact with your sales representative who will ensure your bookings are properly managed.
Europe & UK: Cargo is currently moving across borders in Europe with sea and airport operational, however, delays are continually being experienced. Sea freight space will be reduced due to several blank sailings because of the lack of vessels from China in recent months due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Airfreight space is also at a premium with reduced services.
New Zealand: Level 4 restrictions were implemented in New Zealand on 25 March 2020. Since then, New Zealand has prolonged the State of Emergency by another 7 days. New Zealand remains in lockdown and only essential services are available. Seaports are open and airfreight can be moved at very restricted space capacity due to reduced services.
USA: Because of the extreme severity the COVID-19 outbreak has caused in the US, we have seen extra cutbacks to airline services. Seaports and inland ramps have reported as business as usual, however, import containers to the USA may trigger additional issues as importers have been leaving containers at the wharf which has forecasted to cause backlogs of containers.
Southeast Asia & India: Its reported that the border between Malaysia and Singapore has remained open however, sea and airports remained closed while the Malaysian lockdown continues. Singapore sea and airports are operational, but airfreight space is limited.
India is in lockdown for 21 days which is due to end 14 April. Cargo is currently moving, though only essential commodities will move as non-essential items are not to move by government. Freighter aircrafts are allowed, and it is reported that some passenger aircrafts are in use for cargo only to increase services. India’s customs authorities are unreachable at any terminals, nevertheless they are operational. It has been forecasted that there will be lengthy delays from India
Pakistan businesses are working from home where possible. Borders have remained open but there has been a slow down in transportation because of factory and office closures Air space was closed until 6 April. Seaports are operating with reduced staff.
Nordic regions: Essential services remain operational. Airports and sea freight ports are also open but with some restricted space experienced.
South Africa: A nationwide lockdown is effective, again with exemptions to essential services. Like we have seen with many countries airfreight is moving with limited service options and sea freight ports are currently open.
Stockwell International’s business continuity plans have been strategically developed to be able to move and change with this extremely unpredictable situation and we will endeavour to continue to update you as situations develop. If you would like to discuss more on our business continuity plans or how Stockwells can support you and your business, please reach out to your sales representative.