COVID-19 (Coronavirus) News and Updates

  • Grieving Alone in the Time of COVID-19

    May 29, 2020 — With the absence of physical contact and proximity being limited to six-foot distances, grieving people will miss out on the important psychological aspects of touch and physical presence, exacerbating the grieving process. Many will be at home alone. So your words matter more than ever.
  • France Loosens Moving Restrictions

    May 28, 2020 — In a welcome sign for the French moving industry, the government has given the green light to authorize people to travel more than 100 km to visit new homes or rental properties. The re-authorization of visits and removals throughout France “when they cannot be postponed” is seen as a further relaxing in restrictions that have badly affected the moving industry in the country.
  • U.S. Military Stop-Movement Orders to Be Lifted Immediately at Some Bases

    May 26, 2020 — The stop-movement order in effect for military families on permanent change-of-station moves, originally set to run through June 30, will be lifted in stages, with some installations to begin accepting transfers immediately, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.
  • Argentina Update: Extension of Quarantine

    May 26, 2020 — The federal government, through Decree 493, has extended the period of compulsory quarantine throughout the country until 7 June. It was also reported that the quarantine will be strictly enforced in the area with the highest number of cases, the city of Buenos Aires and the suburban area of Buenos Aires province. The rest of the country has considerably lowered the rate of cases and therefore each province will be able to gradually ease the restrictions for the productive activities of its territory.
  • Update on Coronavirus in Chile

    May 22, 2020 — CMS Globals sent an update on coronavirus in Chile.
  • COVID-19 News from Dominican Republic

    May 19, 2020 — On Sunday night the president of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Danilo Medina spoke to the nation to communicate how successful the country have been in handling the Covid-19 crisis with numbers that fall below those of the region and below many other countries in the rest of the world and announced the measures to start reactivating our economy which will be based in a phased reopening.
  • COVID-19 News From Chile

    May 19, 2020 — Ward Van Lines reports on the continuing situation and new developments in the Chilean government's response to COVID-19.
  • KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: What’s In The Next Round Of COVID-19 Relief?

    May 15, 2020 — House Democrats are moving ahead with another round of COVID-19 relief, including additional funding for state Medicaid programs, an open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans, and money to pay premiums for newly unemployed Americans to continue on their employer health coverage. Republicans, however, say the Democrats’ bill goes too far.
  • COVID-19 - May 14th - Update

    May 15, 2020 — As of this morning, there are approximately 297,000 deaths and 4,372,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, representing a 2.0% increase in cases from yesterday. The worldwide daily rate of new cases has steadily declined in the last month from approximately 8% in early April, and has remained at approximately 2.5% for the last week.
  • Argentina Border controls to be eased in a progressive manner

    May 14, 2020
  • Coronavirus Outbreak in Latin America Now Rivals Europe’s. But Its Options Are Worse.

    May 14, 2020 — As the coronavirus’s toll eased in New York and in European capitals, a devastating wave has struck cities in Latin America, one that rivals the worst outbreaks in the world, an analysis of mortality data by The New York Times has found.
  • As some countries ease up, others are reimposing lockdowns amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections

    May 13, 2020 — As many parts of the world, including the United States, explore ways to ease restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, countries that had already opened up are closing down again after renewed spikes in infections.
  • Argentina Extends Quarantine Until May 24

    May 11, 2020 — The national government has officially announced a new extension of the mandatory quarantine period throughout the country until May 24th.
  • Spain Preparing for Phased Reopening

    May 6, 2020 — The Spanish government is working on a two-phase plan of reopening its country to activity and employment once the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic passes, according to CNBC. Spanish Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz said that the first phase for "productive sectors," which would commence in summer; the second phase, would be put into place from the end of the year.
  • Portugal to Begin Reopening This Month

    May 6, 2020 — Portugal will begin to reopen on May 18, including museums, galleries and restaurants. Religious ceremonies will follow on May 30.
  • Italy Lifts Some Restrictions for Locals

    May 6, 2020 — This week, Italy entered the second phase of its COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown plan, which included lifting some of the strict measures that have been in place for nearly two months. The new decree, which began Monday, May 4, allows people to visit parks, exercise outdoors and return to their permanent residences, even if it means traveling from one region to another; additional travel over long distances is still limited, however.
  • India eases restrictions, but interstate trucking remains a major challenge

    May 5, 2020 — India eased some lockdown restrictions yesterday, but bureaucratic hurdles still hamper interstate trucking. According to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), only 25-30% of truck fleets are on the road, and restrictions at state borders are “impeding their movement.”
  • Insurers warn of the risks of storing import containers away from terminal yards

    May 5, 2020 — The offer by shipping lines to temporarily store containers at way ports to avoid congestion at destination terminals has proved popular with European importers. However, there have been reports of instances where the wrong boxes have been selected for storage at the transit hubs. Moreover, insurers are concerned about the increased security risk from the storage of containers at the temporary off-dock facilities, as well as the potential for cargo damage.
  • Joint Research Confirms COVID-19 Impact on Trucking

    May 5, 2020 — The American Transportation Research Institute and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association Foundation today released important research on impacts that the Covid pandemic is having on all aspects of trucking operations, including deliveries, travel times, detention and truck parking. Most importantly, the research provides recommendations and guidance on future strategies should another national disaster strike.
  • Military Movers Bleed Red Ink as Troop Transfers Delayed Anew

    May 5, 2020 — The Pentagon, as the coronavirus continued to spread, has extended through June 30 its halt—originally set to end May 11—on most troop moves. The International Association of Movers and The American Moving and Storage Association initially urged Congress to pass $187 million to help the industry after the Pentagon stopped the moves on March 16 and raised their request to $450 million on April 27, warning of “unprecedented economic losses” causing movers to go out of business, with widespread job cuts.
  • WPSP COVID19 Port Economic Impact Barometer for Week 18 reports stabilization or slight improvements

    May 4, 2020 — Of the seventy six ports surveyed across the globe in this week’s WPSP Port Economic Impact Barometer Report, the majority report a relatively stable situation compared to the previous weeks, with slight improvements noted in some areas of port continuity.
  • With testing, Iceland claims major success against COVID-19

    May 4, 2020 — Iceland has confirmed 1,799 cases of the virus, but just 10 people have died. The number of new COVID-19 cases each day has fallen from 106 at the peak of the outbreak to single digits — even, on some days, zero. Iceland’s success is partly testament to its tiny population — just 360,000 people. But it also reflects decisive action by authorities, who used a rigorous policy of testing and tracking to find and isolate infected people, even when they had no symptoms.
  • FMC commissioners call for federal support for 'struggling' box terminal operators

    May 4, 2020 — The US federal government should consider stepping in to help container terminal operators stay in business, as volumes plummet as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Some relief for seafarers trapped at sea for months as a few nations ease restrictions

    May 4, 2020 — Thousands of seafarers remain trapped at sea, on containerships and other cargo vessels, by coronavirus travel restrictions – a threat to supply chains, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has warned. According to the Chamber, the number of seafarers in need of a crew change will reach 150,000 by 15 May.
  • Panama Canal Changes Reservation Fee Requirements to Help Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic

    May 1, 2020 — Starting May 4, the waterway will implement temporary changes that will no longer require of booking guarantees and the advance payment of reservation fees upon confirmation of a reservation. Instead, customers will be allowed to place the guarantee for the payment of the booking slot prior to the vessel initiating transit.
  • PPP Out of Money Again for Small Businesses

    May 1, 2020 — The federally-backed forgivable loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is reportedly exhausted of funds already, just days after Congress approved an additional $320 billion for the program.
  • Information for Individuals Applying for U.S. Permanent Residency

    Apr 30, 2020 — Gallagher Transport reports: For individuals who are seeking to arrive into the US, if their PRC/Green Card was approved before April 23rd – ie. they have been granted a permanent residency number – they should be allowed to arrive/import. A 60 day ban, starting April 23rd is currently in effect for those seeking permanent residence regardless of where they are in the approval process.
  • USTC J9 Stop Movement/COVID-19 Call (28 April)

    Apr 30, 2020 — On Tuesday, TRANSCOM J9 held their latest Stop Movement call with Services and industry representatives. A number of different issues were discussed.
  • Airborne Coronavirus Detected in Wuhan Hospitals

    Apr 29, 2020 — Adding to growing evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through air, scientists have identified genetic markers of the virus in airborne droplets, many with diameters smaller than one-ten-thousandth of an inch. “Those are going to stay in the air floating around for at least two hours. It strongly suggests that there is potential for airborne transmission.”
  • GSA COVID-19 Impacts - Supplier Relocation Community Discussion (27 April)

    Apr 27, 2020 — GSA held their weekly call with the moving and relocation industry to discuss COVID-19 policy and impacts. Julie Blanford, the Director of GSA’s Employee Relocation Resource Center, led the call.
  • Chinese manufacturers cut container production to hold prices as demand falls

    Apr 27, 2020 — For the first time in a decade, the world container fleet is likely to be getting smaller, in the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. New research from Drewry Maritime Advisors suggests that, despite warnings from freight service providers that global maritime supply chains are likely to come under increasing pressure due to a shortage of equipment, it appears Chinese box manufacturers have substantially cut production to maintain prices.
  • How to Make a Face Mask - One Person Can Make A Difference

    Apr 23, 2020 — Cindy Myer of Ridgewood Moving Services writes: "My daughter Sam has been working with her designer friends (based out of NYC) to set up "cottage Industry" assembly of face masks." She also includes a link to a useful video to guide you.
  • A Brighter Picture for European Movers

    Apr 23, 2020 — This weeks FEDEMAC News summary of the COVID-19 crisis shows an increasing number of European moving companies returning to work under strict safety measures, but activity remains low as corporate and private customers remain cautious.
  • HMM launches world's biggest box ship – but its first voyage may be the last

    Apr 23, 2020 — As South Korean shipping line HMM today formally launched the world’s largest containership, the country’s government outlined an enormous financial package to prop up its maritime industries. Minister Moon Seong-hyeok said: “The shipping firms are expected to suffer more serious damage after the second quarter, considering the time lapse between the global economic turmoil and the decline in their performances.”
  • New Data Show COVID-19 Impacts on the Trucking Industry

    Apr 22, 2020 — Today, the American Transportation Research Institute is releasing new data that quantifies the continued impacts of COVID-19 business disruptions on the trucking industry.
  • Modification and Reissuance of DoD Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Travel Restrictions

    Apr 20, 2020
  • White House and Democrats Near Deal on Aid for Small Businesses

    Apr 20, 2020 — The White House and congressional Democrats on Sunday closed in on an agreement for a $450 billion economic relief package to replenish a depleted emergency fund for small businesses and to expand coronavirus testing around the country, with votes on the measure possible early this week.
  • DoD travel ban extended to June 30

    Apr 18, 2020 — The military-wide travel ban has been extended to June 30 in a continued effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan told reporters Saturday morning.
  • Wah Kwong boss hails financial resilience of shipping during the coronavirus crisis

    Apr 16, 2020 — William Fairclough, the managing director of Hong Kong shipowner Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, has hailed the financial resilience of shipping compared to aviation and other transport sectors during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
  • U.S. Government Stop Movement Order Extended

    Apr 16, 2020 — The US Secretary of Defense, Dr. Mark Esper, this week announced an extension of the order that has stopped all but essential military and government sponsored moves in the United States and around the world.
  • Signs of Hope for Moving and Relocation

    Apr 16, 2020 — With moving and relocation companies now severely impacted for many weeks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of governments in Europe this week announced plans for an easing of restrictions in the coming weeks.
  • Argentina Mandatory Quarantine Extended to 26 April

    Apr 14, 2020 — Argentina has extended its mandatory quarantine until April 26. People will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy supplies and medicine in nearby shops.
  • Unprecedented congestion to hit exporters as importers fail to collect cargo

    Apr 14, 2020 — As news this week emerged of huge backlogs of containers building up at key Indian gateways such as Nhava Sheva, Mundra and Chennai, forwarders warned that over the next month port congestion in some parts of the world would lead to shortages of equipment elsewhere and create significant liability issues for shippers globally.
  • Move Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia extended until 28 April

    Apr 14, 2020 — the Move Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia has been further extended until 28 April 2020 and most of Malaysian seaports are running at 80-90% capacity rate at the moment.
  • Puerto Rico extends coronavirus lockdown through May 3 but eases nighttime curfew

    Apr 13, 2020 — On Saturday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez said she will be keeping nonessential businesses shut through at least May 3, even as she eased a nighttime curfew and carved out a few more exceptions.
  • Venezuela Update: Quarantine Extended 30 Days

    Apr 13, 2020 — The Venezuelan quarantine has been extended to prevent spread of COVID-19
  • IAM to Host a Virtual Round Table Panel Discussion: COVID-19 Response - A Government – Industry Partnership

    Apr 10, 2020 — On 15 April, at 3pm EDT, IAM President, Chuck White, will host a round table discussion: “COVID-19 Response: A Government – Industry Partnership.” Participants in the round table discussion include all of the U.S. Government’s largest household goods movers: Rick Marsh of USTC J9; Julie Blanford from GSA; and Charles Olden from Department of State.
  • OSD Issues Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings on DoD Installations

    Apr 10, 2020
  • Truck Drivers Required to Complete Travel Declaration Form When Entering Utah

    Apr 10, 2020 — The Governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert, has issued an Executive Order establishing a requirement for individuals entering Utah to complete a travel declaration form. The order goes into effect at 8:00 a.m. on April 10, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020.
  • WTO predicts world trade could fall by up to 32%

    Apr 9, 2020 — A report published yesterday by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) says that world trade is expected to fall by up to 32% this year due to the disruption of economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. WTO economists predict the decline, which it says will range anywhere from 13% to 32%, will most likely be greater than the slump in trade during the global financial crisis of 2008.
  • European Commission attempts to designate ports where fast-track crew changes can take place

    Apr 9, 2020 — The European Commission (EC) is making moves to alleviate the crew change crunch brought about by travel restrictions from the coronavirus. The EC has issued guidelines to provide crew with recommendations on health, repatriation and travel arrangements. The EC has also called on member states to create a network of ports where crew changes can take place without delays.
  • Tunnel Still Dark As Industry Crisis Continues

    Apr 9, 2020 — The financial crisis for moving and relocation companies across Europe remains very challenging despite some news media reports of a slowing infection rate in certain countries.
  • The E.U.’s finance ministers failed to agree on a plan, and its top scientist quit

    Apr 8, 2020 — A marathon overnight teleconference of European finance ministers broke off Wednesday without agreement on eurozone measures to counter the economic disaster caused by the pandemic.
  • French shipowners urge Macron to enact a shipping Marshall Plan

    Apr 8, 2020 — Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, the 55-year-old head of cruise line Ponant, has been elected president of Armateurs de France, the French shipowners association. He takes over from Jean-Marc Roué, whose parting message this week was a call to Emanuel Macron, the French president, to enact a Marshall Plan for local shipping amid the coronavirus crisis.
  • Inactive boxship fleet to surpass 3m teu for the first time

    Apr 8, 2020 — The sudden massive volume of blanked sailings announced in recent days is set to create new records in terms of the inactive containership fleet, which analysts at Alphaliner are now saying will breach the 3m teu mark for the first time meaning some 13% of the entire global box fleet will be out of work. The inactive containership fleet had actually been dropping for most of the last month having hit a record of 2.46m teu at the start of March.
  • Joint Association Letter – Emergency Financial Support Needed for the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3)

    Apr 7, 2020 — IAM and AMSA signed a joint letter to the USTC Commander, GEN Stephen Lyons, asking for any advocacy/assistance he could provide for this industry to work with DoD to get financial support.
  • U.S. Employers Can Make Tax-Free Disaster Relief Payments to Employees

    Apr 6, 2020 — When the President declared a National Emergency on 13 March 2020, he triggered the provisions of Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, Disaster Relief Payments, which provides for a broad range of nontaxable relief benefits for employees.
  • Malaysia Update: Lockdown until 14 April

    Apr 6, 2020 — Royal Relocations Reports: Due to the rampant Covid 19 outbreak the government of Malaysia had ordered to extend the country wide lockdown starting 18th March to 14th April.
  • Carriers could find the cost of blanked sailings adding up to $23 billion

    Apr 6, 2020 — The container shipping industry could lose as much as $23bn this year from reduced demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for unitised shipping services is set to nosedive as a result of the economic devastation wrought by large swathes of the world forced into social lockdowns.
  • Indian container ports struggle with extreme congestion

    Apr 3, 2020 — India’s major container ports are facing severe congestion as import containers are stacking up amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
  • Keppel Shipyard centre of new Singapore coronavirus cluster

    Apr 3, 2020 — Keppel Shipyard has been revealed as the centre of a new coronavirus cluster in Singapore, with four cases discovered in the Tuas yard leading to 100 workers being sent home to isolate.
  • European shipping reaches ‘breaking point’

    Apr 3, 2020 — European shipowners have urgently called on governments and Brussels to adopt a targeted rescue and recovery plan for the maritime sector, which is now inching close to collapse from the strains brought about by the coronavirus. The board of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) met yesterday and issued a strong statement on the perilous state of the continent’s shipping community.
  • Gerson Relocation Reports on COVID-19 Status update regarding International HHG Moving in the UK

    Apr 2, 2020 — This is the latest update relating to the status of International HHG Moving in the UK. On 23 March 2020 the UK Government advised the UK public on the steps it is taking to contain the spread of COVID-19, issuing a lockdown of the UK with a few exceptions. This means that some moving operations can be continued, and some cannot.
  • Congestion at Manila port reaches record levels

    Apr 2, 2020 — Manila port not for the first time is facing extraordinary congestion with container yard space now effectively full and ships being asked to divert to alternative destinations within the Southeast Asian archipelago.
  • Remote working employees – communication, management and supporting well-being

    Apr 2, 2020 — Amid the current global health crisis, much of the shipping and maritime industry’s workforce is now having to work from home either on a full time or rotational basis. That has presented many challenges where we have, until now, been reticent to embrace this working style and employers and employees are having to rapidly adapt.
  • Carriers start to look at the Cape route to Europe

    Apr 2, 2020 — With utilisation rates dropping fast, container carriers are looking at soaking up some capacity and avoiding shelling out for toll fees by sending some of their ships from Asia to Europe via the Cape of Good Hope rather than the Suez Canal, Splash can exclusively reveal. The Asia-Europe tradelane has seen a record drop in scheduled sailings in recent days as demand for goods dries up in Europe with the continent on a coronavirus lockdown.
  • Spain Imposes Lockdown until April 14, Mudinmar reports

    Apr 1, 2020
  • Quarantine in Chile

    Apr 1, 2020 — the Chilean Government has extended the mandatory quarantine for NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES / TRANSPORT until April 9th. This quarantine is applicable now to 6 areas of the Grand Santiago: Las Condes, Vitacura, Providencia, Lo Barnechea, Santiago Downtown and Ñuñoa.Other regions subject to this quarantine are Easter Island, Punta Arenas, Temuco, Padre Las Casas, Chillán and Osorno.
  • Panama Canal Sends Thousands of Workers Home

    Apr 1, 2020 — The Panama Canal said it is now operating with a staff of 3,600, versus the normal 9,000. Workers not dealing directly with ship transits were given two weeks of vacation.
  • FMC tracks COVID-19-induced supply chain bottlenecks

    Apr 1, 2020 — The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission has authorized Commissioner Rebecca Dye to begin working with representatives from the container-shipping industry to identify “operational solutions to cargo delivery challenges” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The FMC order, known as Fact Finding 29 International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement, highlighted the commission’s statutory mandate to “ensure efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce.”
  • France Eases the Lockdown

    — As government instructions that restricted moves to exceptional cases expires on May 11, the French moving associations and Unions have published an industry directive for professional moving companies to return to work after that date.
  • Italy introduces obligatory paperwork in response to COVID-19

    — According to a decree adopted on March 9th by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte restricting the ability to move across the country affected by COVID-19, freight is considered an economically viable activity and drivers are allowed to enter, exit and move goods in the designated quarantine areas for the purpose of transporting, loading and unloading of goods.