Last night the President’s announced that the United States, effective Friday March 13, 2020 will suspend and limit entry into the United States for immigrants or non-immigrants who were physically present within the Schengen Area* during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States for thirty days. There are exemptions to this including passengers from the UK, US residents and air and sea crew members, which luckily includes air freight flying on all-cargo or freighter airlines. However, a great deal of cargo is moved in the belly space of passenger airlines, especially between the United States and Europe, so capacity will dramatically tighten. There are alternative options including routing cargo via Canada which remains open, though this option will increase the transit time.
Market concerns aside for a moment, many logistics providers are offering options to curtail the spread of the virus while still providing services including visual proof of delivery via photo instead of signature, internet based meetings via websites offering visual and group options to fit almost any needs for the time being without depending on contact. More companies are working from home, preferring to take a few days now and not a few weeks / months later if things get worse.
The best advice is still to avoid large gatherings (not very difficult as more and more events are being cancelled every day), keep your hands clean (and off your face) and safely check on your older friends and relatives. The CDC has excellent resources on how to avoid transmission.
In all seriousness, we at Nelson International are working hard to keep your cargo moving and safe during this situation.
* The 26 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.