Production in China has now normalized to pre-crisis production levels. Selective passenger flight have resumed and air freight capacity is slowly returning on selective trade lanes, with less freighters entering the market. Port operations are normal, and additional blank sailings due to low export production continues to impact the Ocean Freight market and has led to an increase in rates.
There are no restrictions on domestic road freight shipments; however sourcing drivers is challenging and restrictions on the movement of drivers in “high risk” cities is still in place. Export and import shipment are experiencing prolonged delays at the Pingxiang border with Vietnam, where they have introduced a number of new policies. From mid-January, 2021 X-ray and re-weighting of all export containers from China was made mandatory (by Vietnam Customs). Pingxiang customs authorities also launched their truck queuing system on 1 February, 2021, which is also impacting the traffic and customs clearance lead-times. Furthermore, road freight has become a popular alternative to ocean freight. These factors are causing delays and a shortage of equipment in the market.
The Chinese government have also implemented several new customs regulations to strengthen the export quality of medical materials and personal protective equipment. The General Administration of Customs have now imposed revised inspection rules for medical materials under the Commodity Category “6307900010” and other Customs Commodity Categories. If goods meet the regulation thresholds, they are issued an Inspection Verification Certificate required for export of goods. Medical products for exports that fail the inspection will not be permitted for export. As of April 26, these new regulations also impact the export of non-medical masks, which must meet the quality standards of China or foreign countries.