How COVID-19 has affected Global Shipping in Q1 2020

With the World Health Organization declaring the COVID-19 disease a pandemic on 12th March 2020, there have been many changes and uncertainty the world over. Two weeks later, we look at how it has affected the globe shipping as it spreads to all continents.

The Coronavirus named COVID-19 first surfaced in December 2019 and since then spread to all continents causing casualties and growing. It’s caused not only massive social disruptions but also economic ramifications in its path. Concerning global shipping, the most pressing issues has been on port calls and blank sailings.

With certain carrier services that operates on sailing schedules and fixed port rotations, there will be close to 400 blank sailings scheduled between mid-March to the end of April of this year. One way carriers have dealt with this global shipping issue of blank sailing and low volumes is to switch to small vessels which will be reflected in the vessel capacities in terms of TEUs especially within Asian trade lanes which are expected to decrease by approximately 23% as per Hong Kong based company, Ocean Insights.

In order to assist in these trying times, Ocean Insights has made efforts to help industry plan their sailing schedules and also gather insights on port performance and port calls too. Based on the recent trends in global shipping since the COVID-19 outbreak, Ocean Insights have been covering average port call durations, average transshipment durations, and rollover ratio.  Based on the investigations, no significant trends but there has been a noticeable drop in the number of voyages around the Chinese New Year and subsequently due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of the chart denoting the trends courtesy of Ocean Insights are as follows:

As the world strives to battle the increase of COVID-19 positives, the future seems uncertain until the crisis ceases.