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How the Corona Virus affects the New Zealand Shipping Industry

Posted on February 24, 2020


As the Corona Virus gains momentum, businesses all around the world are falling on hard times.  The New Zealand shipping industry has not gone without its worries and below are the main points to come from the latest meeting held by CBAFF (Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand Inc).


  1. Logistics and businesses are working slower than normal. This is due to fewer workers on the ground, with approx. 150 million migrant workers who are yet to return to work.  
  2. Shipping food is still the number one priority.
  3. Cool storage is full and securing additional storage is proving difficult.   
  4. New Zealand is experiencing similar conditions to other countries when dealing with China’s MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries).  Some countries are experiencing more severe shipping impacts than others.
  5. Mail into China is affected.
  6. Individual cities and regions are putting in different regulations.  This means conditions vary across the country and are also contributing to things taking much longer than usual.   
  7. No major changes to conditions and meetings are held weekly for updated information. 


Cancelled flights between New Zealand and China is also affecting airfreight of perishable goods and MPI is working closely with businesses and providing real-time information.


Though McCullough Shipping does not ship many cars out of China, we are members of CBAFF New Zealand and are therefore privy to updated shipping, customs and MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) information as soon as it comes to hand. 


The virus is forcing businesses worldwide to come up with logistical alternatives.  For example, Zespri (world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit) is using more chartered reefers so it isn’t dependent on containers and this has crafted improvements, but the timeframe is still typically twice as long as usual.

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