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Coronavirus outbreak is developing fears that the full impact of the disease on the production network in the United States and Europe will be felt from mid-March, when the stock at assembling and get together plants that rely on inputs from China starts to drain.

Forwarders and shippers say that health concern over the Coronavirus forced the yearly TPM meeting to be dropped, that temporary shutdowns of plants in the US and Europe were only weeks away. There are travel restrictions that are preventing migrant labor to return on work, keeping manufacturing plants shut for most of February. With production lines shut and a remarkable number of clear sailings executed by sea transporters, very little has been dispatched out of China in the previous month.

Although manufacturing activity in China resumes slowly, the last container had arrived in the US and Europe ahead of the Chinese New Year, and nothing had been produced in China since the shipments left.

Shippers are saying that the shutdown in manufacturing units would be temporary, however unavoidable, highlighting the assembling issues as of now being experienced via carmakers and electronics companies in South Korea and Japan as instances of what’s to come.

It is estimated that the impact of a large number of dropped sailings on global container volume will be about 1.9 million TEU, which would affect round-trip dynamics and create shortages of both vessel capacity and equipment availability.

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