Blank sailings are freight cancellations that occur when either a single port is skipped or an entire line of port stops is canceled. These occurrences are often caused by low demand or changes in freight routes.
Amid coronavirus concerns, many vessel carriers globally are seeing an increase in blank sailings. This is because there are fewer warehouses open and fewer warehouse workers available to ensure products are sorted, packaged and ready to ship. In the second quarter of 2020, we predict that blank sailings will continue to increase as the United States and other countries around the globe tackle the coronavirus.
Coronavirus and blank sailings forecast in Q2 2020
Earlier this year, blank sailings started occurring when factories in China closed in response to the widespread coronavirus outbreak. Since then, China has begun to pick up the pieces of its economy with factories reopening. That said, with Americans feeling the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. consumers are forced to spend less with many non-essential stores shuddered around the country.
As a result, businesses are not ordering inventory. Instead, many are having to lay off employees, close their warehouses and take other cost-saving actions until the coronavirus has passed. With fewer shipments going to stores, and fewer workers to sort through shipments, blank sailings are forecasted to increase in Q2 2020.
What does this mean for consumers
When cargo is scheduled to be transported on a canceled sailing, it’s rebooked on the next available schedule. For consumers waiting for products, this means unforeseeable delays. During times of economic uncertainty, the likes of which the coronavirus has caused, consumers should expect longer shipping times and freight delays.
For help with transporting your products or enhancing your supply chain process, contact one of our logistics experts today.