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The COVID-19 pandemic is drastically impacting the world, and it’s difficult to find a sector not affected by the virus. The shipping industry is presently experiencing some changes due to the coronavirus. While operating as a shipping company or professional, it’s crucial to understand the current ramifications of COVID-19.

Why Is the Shipping Industry Important?

Many people don’t realize how integral the shipping sector is to the goods they use and enjoy in their everyday lives. It enables the distribution of products that may be inaccessible otherwise. The importance of the shipping industry has become especially apparent during the COVID-19 outbreak, as cities and countries need to receive urgent shipments of medical supplies and other essentials.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Global and Domestic Shipping

Many major carriers operating in the shipping industry have published specifics on their websites to clarify how COVID-19 is altering domestic and global shipping. Some brands cannot accept packages destined for certain countries until further notice. The specifics vary based on where the item originates and its destination.

Shipping brands caution that the increase in demand from COVID-19 will result in delays in some cases. You may have noticed that some companies normally offering guaranteed delivery times no longer stand by those promises.

How COVID-19 Affects Sea, Air and Land Transit

The COVID-19 lockdowns around the world mean many people working in the shipping industry encounter surprises when reaching their destinations. The New York Times recently reported that an estimated 150,000 crew members on commercial ships carrying goods could not leave their vessels once docking, as doing so would violate the lockdowns at those destinations. Trip cancellations — known as blank sailings — and congested ports complicate matters further.

Then, data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)  showed a 9.1% month-on-month decrease in seasonally adjusted air cargo demand in February 2020 compared to totals from a year earlier. The IATA also mentioned global export orders falling to historically low levels, and that the severe decrease in passenger flights due to COVID-19 hindered air travel.

COVID-19 is shaking up land shipments too. Surges in demand for items like cleaning products and paper goods mean truckers often come back from trips with empty trailers. Also, with many whole sectors largely shut down, some land travel specialists now carry different kinds of cargo than before.

Other Implications

Along with these broad consequences, there are other possible impacts of the coronavirus on shipping, including:

  • Economic recessions curbing demand for shipping
  • Uncertainty about whether insurance policies cover COVID-19-related issues
  • Additional costs related to rerouting goods
  • Extra stress on shipping professionals as they cope with these unprecedented circumstances

Get Certified in Hazmat Shipping

Getting your employees hazmat certified is especially vital as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Coronavirus test specimens fall under hazardous materials, as do items at risk of catching on fire or exploding, which could encompass products used for sanitation and health care.

When receiving certification from Hazmat School, the material is 100% online and available to access at any time. Contact us today to learn more about our courses and how they could help you remain competitive as a shipping company or professional.

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