Toronto, March 31, 2020
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, Universal Logistics is doing everything we can to support our clients and to keep you informed of the ever changing business environment and how it is impacting our industry.
The following information has been gathered by mode of transport from news sources as of Tuesday, March 31, 2020:
COVID-19 – Universal Logistics fully operational
Further to the recent Canadian and U.S. government announcements regarding non-essential business closures, supply chain support services (transportation/distribution/logistics) have been declared essential services/businesses in the Canadian Provinces and U.S. States where we operate our own offices (Ontario, Quebec, New York and Ohio). As such, Universal Logistics Canada and Universal Logistics USA will continue to be in full operation.
Canada-U.S. Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel; Trade Will Keep Moving
All persons seeking entry into Canada for the purpose of commerce, trade, economic services and supply chains are being processed. This travel is essential and is not to be restricted.
Non-essential travel includes, but is not limited to: tourism; recreation; shopping for non-essential goods; and/or sightseeing.
U.S.-Mexico Border Closed; Trade Will Keep Moving
Following similar action along the Canadian border, the White House has closed the United States’ border with Mexico to non-essential traffic, but is exempting trade and commerce from the ban.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Update
CBSA COVID-19 Commercial Update to Industry Stakeholders as of March 30, 2020.
General Notice for Airfreight Rates
Air freight rates continue to soar upwards as demand outstrips capacity. However, stabilization may be in sight as an increasing number of airlines are redeploying their passenger aircraft (PAX) to cargo-only services. This should add some much needed supply into the strained airfreight industry.
UK Update – Critical Airport Services Under Threat of Collapse
Cargo and ground handling companies warned of the imminent collapse of their sector, which would bring airports across the UK to a halt and severely impact the UK’s supply chain.
The ground handling industry is a critical part of the UK aviation system, providing 90% of cargo handling at all UK airports and essential services like the handling and security processing of cargo and aircraft fuelling. Without these services, aviation as a whole cannot function, and supply chains will collapse.
Currently, as more than 95% of flights are not operating, ground handling companies are not being paid. While the industry has welcomed the UK Chancellor’s work retention package, low margins and staff comprising 70% of costs mean that the viability of the industry remains immediately unsustainable.
Countries around the world are facing similar drastic cuts to their domestic aviation industry and related businesses. The threats seen in the UK are expected to spread to the global industry as a whole if a return to near-normal operations does not come soon.
Air Canada Route Updates
Air Canada will continue to operate domestic and international flights with a reduced schedule for the month of April. For a full list of operating routes and route suspensions, please click here.
Shippers Shocked by Scale and Speed of Blanked Sailing Announcements
Carriers are rushing through blanked sailing announcements on a scale and speed never seen before, giving shippers very little chance to make alternative plans.
Last week, carriers had blanked two sailings due to the pandemic spread. As of Sunday, this had increased to 45 blank sailings, according to data carried in the latest report from Sea-Intelligence Consulting.
It is not just the scale of the blanked sailings, but the speed with which they are being announced that is expected to create supply chain troubles for many clients.
Port of Vancouver COVID-19 Update
On-dock and off-dock operations throughout the Port of Vancouver remain fluid.Weather, storage capacity and export container and bulk cargo movement continue to be favourable. High anchorage demand continues while vessel activity remains fluid.
Port of Montreal COVID-19 Update
Freight transport operations are running at full capacity. No cancellations have occurred, and rail transport continues as scheduled. Road transport and terminal operations are ongoing.
Port of Halifax COVID-19 Update
There are currently no restrictions at any terminals under Halifax Port Authority jurisdiction, and no operational changes have been required.
RAIL & TRUCK UPDATES:
Trucking Demand that was Surging Last Week, Now “Falling Off a Cliff”
Truck freight volumes had been surging in Canada as the spread of COVID-19, and efforts to contain it, intensified. But as businesses across North America slow and even halt operations, the entire trucking industry is staring down an implosion in large parts of the Canadian and U.S. freight market.
Fighting mass layoffs across the industry, the newly announced Canadian wage subsidies could potentially help keep thousands of trucking companies in business, particularly small carriers that work exclusively with automakers and other manufacturers that have temporarily closed operations.
CN COVID-19 Update
Canada - United States Border Remains Open to Rail
While non-essential travel over the U.S./Canadian border has been temporarily closed, the transportation of goods by train between the two countries is open & protected.
Port Gateways Remain Fluid for Import and Export Trade
All CN served port gateways on the West and East coasts of Canada, and Southern U.S., remain fluid:
CP COVID-19 Update
CP’s network remains fluid. The Canada-U.S. border is open for commerce, with both national governments recognizing the necessity for ongoing cross-border trade. Similarly, whether it is transporting fuel oil and propane, or foods, pharmaceuticals and disinfectants or moving grain to our ports, CP’s trains are continuing to move in Canada and the U.S. The supply chain supporting essential railway operations also remains strong.
For more information, please feel free to contact us directly.
COVID-19 Response Team
Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1212 Email: email@example.com
John Leis, Director – Client Relations
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1215 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Glionna, Vice President – Systems Development & Operations
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1220 Email: email@example.com
Chris Cartan, Director – Operations
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1237 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207 Email: email@example.com
Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1308 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services
Tel. (905) 882-4880, ext. 1224 Email: email@example.com
Vickey Ison, Office Manager – Cleveland
Tel. (440) 360-7850, ext. 100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org