Atlanta Customs brokers

COVID-19 What to know about how cargo holds may affect your business

The global economy depends on the transfer of goods from one country to another. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, businesses and factories are being shut down to limit the spread of the virus. That means supply chains are being impacted, as orders for goods and parts are being slowed down and fulfillment severely delayed. Customs brokers, who offer a variety of services, are witnessing the global impact of the pandemic firsthand.

If your business relies on imports or exports, there is an increased likelihood that you will face delays in the shipping and receiving of your cargo due to cargo holds by various countries. Here is what you need to know about how cargo holds may affect your business.

Limited Staff Numbers

Since many countries have put social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders in place, many shipping terminals and shipping companies operations have been impacted because they do not have the personnel to handle the shipments that are still moving forward. Additionally, demands for certain goods and parts means that freight rates have decreased due to a lack of demand.

That means your shipment could face holds or delays while a shipping company works out the logistics or newly instituted government requirements. One of those potential issues could be the shipping vessel being put into quarantine once it reaches the shipping port.

Potential for Quarantine

Depending on where your shipments are coming from, you may be facing a ship being quarantined for weeks once it arrives in port. That means you are facing additional delays while your cargo is being held on the ship waiting for the quarantine to be lifted. Governments looking to reduce the spread of the virus may find it necessary to keep the personnel on cargo ships from having extra contact with individuals in the shipping terminal.

In China, for instance, government-imposed travel restrictions meant that shipping containers were delayed in reaching the loading dock. Containers for import were also piling up, because there were no trucks to discharge the goods into for delivery.

Keep Up with the Latest News

In the U.S., Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working with Homeland Security during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have created a page where they are releasing the latest information regarding shipping, imports, and exports on that page. If your business involves multiple countries, it is important to keep up with their latest updates and news releases, as the situation can change rapidly.

One of the recent news releases relates to the deferment of certain payments for importers who are facing hardships due to the pandemic. It is a temporary rule, so it is important to understand how the rule will impact your business. Other guidance is provided regarding shipping terminals and how long your shipment could be on hold.

Working with a customs broker, you can have the benefit of years of experience and knowledge regarding the customs and shipping industry. They can help you to navigate the upheaval of rules and regulations regarding shipments to minimize your cargo hold delays. Currently, we have our team taking advantage of teleworking to protect our staff, their families, and the communities that we serve. If you are looking for a qualified customs broker, then contact us today.

Atlanta Customs Brokers is one of the oldest and most trusted customs brokerage and shipping firms in Atlanta. Established in 1985, our company has been a fixture in and around the Atlanta airport and Savannah port for more than 31 years. We enjoy working with our international partners and enjoy what we do. If you are a first-time importer or exporter or a large corporation, we can handle your needs.