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Trucking and depot businesses in China are showing a slow and patchy resumption of operations after crashing to a virtual halt after the Chinese New Year holiday was extended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has crippled factory and industrial output. Wintry weather in northern China last weekend has created a further challenge, weighing on the return to work at terminals in Dalian, Tianjin, and Qingdao. That comes even as businesses scramble for swift transport options, including air and rail, freight forwarders said.

“Trucking capacity is much better in north China with around 70 to 80 percent availability as the drivers mainly come from provinces in China,” one logistics executive said. “In central and south China, the recovery is much slower with operations only at 20 to 40 percent capacity as many drivers are from Hubei and surrounding provinces where the epidemic is more widespread.”

“The most critical trucking situation is in Ningbo and all of Zhejiang Province where only 10 to 20 percent of trucks are available because the area is still under restriction and partial lockdown,” the source added.

Normal operations not expected until at least March

The resumption of operations is being slowed because of strict measures imposed by local authorities to tackle the virus, including submission of an implementation plan by each business that must be approved before staff can resume work. As a result, normal operations for most factories and businesses are not expected until next month.

Most trucking suppliers have resumed operations although they are operating with less than 50 percent of their staff, since all trucking companies must follow local restrictions to receive a permit to resume operations.

Source: JOC