As the Coronavirus COVID-19 spreads further into different regions of the world, we look at how it impacts global shipping. With the virus stemming from China, and thereafter spreading to the various corners of the world from person-to-person contact due to travel, there have been many deaths with numbers rising. CovID-19 first broke out in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China, since then the numbers of affected people has risen to over 35,000 within Mainland China, and approximately 400 outside of China., With seven of the top ten largest global shipping ports located in China, the disease has had a great impact on global shipping. The death toll rises and countries go into crisis mode, there have been many travel adversaries as well as operations of many businesses slowing down, and not to mention the US-China Trade issues, there have been many areas in which the global shipping industry has been impacted.
Though the year is only two months in, the global shipping industry has been many changes from additional fuel costs due to the IMO 2020 and the need to switch to low-Sulphur fuels, there have been many setbacks since the outbreak that escalated after the Lunar New Year. Shipyards that were meant to be filled with vessels being retrofitted, they have remained closed due to the Coronavirus. With slow manufacturing of vessels and China-built products, and also low container volumes, many global shipping carriers have had to result in blank sailings.
China and its link to trade routes, which links up China to Europe and China to North America, the entirety of global shipping in terms of container shipping, have been heavily disrupted to a point where producers of containerized goods have halted production or at low levels. Apart from container global shipping, China is also connected via the One Belt One Road route, which has been hurt by labor shortages, thus there have been many impacts to global shipping and trade as the world hurries to find cures to stop the outbreak before it takes more lives.