Coronavirus slashing US port volumes

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The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) said cargo volumes at U.S. ports in the first quarter could be down by 20% or more from 2019 levels because of the supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus.

AAPA said U.S. ports “are closely following instructions and protocols from appropriate federal agencies to quickly respond to the coronavirus threat.”

“For seaborne trade and travel, it’s both a blessing and a curse that there’s a two-week latency period for coronavirus symptoms. The lag time gives our ports, Coast Guard, Customs agents, and health officials time to prepare for screening and, if needed, quarantine or rerouting of crew members or travelers thought to be infected,” AAPA said.

Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO, added, “Things will rebound eventually and indeed we’re hearing news about factories that are coming back online in China and ports there ramping back up to move the cargo. At the same time, supply chain managers around the world are working tirelessly to keep cargo moving to ensure that the goods we need are available when and where we need them.”