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China, COVID, and Civil Unrest

Under China’s zero-Covid policy, strict lockdowns are being blamed for an apartment fire that killed ten people when emergency services were delayed due to restrictions. The pushback has led to civil unrest in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu, further complicating the cargo situation that’s facing delays from Covid outbreaks impacting labor and transportation. 

 

As we move deeper into the holiday season, shippers are keeping watch on market conditions to prepare as inventory levels become critical as shoppers become fierce. The critical time of year is less hampered by peak season than it would have been just twelve months ago as imports to the US from China are slowing down post-pandemic. 

 

Though myriad factors are swirling around the logistics industry, including the possibility of a rail strike, the concerning delay of labor chats between the ILWU and PMA, and the standard winter weather conditions that can pop up with little to no warning, having a contingency plan or two is the best practice for what’s on the horizon. 

 

We don’t exactly expect disruptions to compound as they did in the early pandemic when lousy predictions and cargo capacity almost hamstrung the world’s supply chain. But the preparations being made should include some solid possibilities and an occasional stress test to ensure our suppliers can bounce back after shortages or blanked sailings. One thing we’re learning clearly is that falling rates don’t equal savings as often as they equal dwindling capacity and fewer voyages on fewer lanes around the world. 

 

At Edward J. Zarach & Associates, we’re working with our global network of partners to plan for our holiday shipping strategies. Knowing where disruption might occur, we can find alternative solutions for cargo stress. Whether you need an advocate on sourcing, warehousing, distribution, transportation or just a consultation to see what opportunities are waiting for you, trusting your cargo to the experts at Zarach is the difference between being at the mercy of the market and successfully navigating the season straight through to the new year. 

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