COVID-19 blows shipping business off course

With China accounting for around 40 percent of global seaborne trade, shipping is another industry that's been hit by COVID-19. Guy Platten is the Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping. He explains how bad the impact of COVID-19 has been.

"It's really affected trade," Patten told CGTN Europe. "You've got to bear in mind just how big a manufacturer and a consumer China is. Raw materials being imported to China has gone through the floor - and then, of course, the factories aren't working at the capacity they once were, so the finished goods aren't coming out. 

"So it's on both sides - whether it's on container lines taking their manufactured goods out or the bulk suppliers bringing the raw materials in, both sides are affected quite drastically. 

"Quite rightly, the ports are putting in additional checks and safety considerations as well. But there's a stacking-up of ships: the factories in China aren't working at full capacity so there's a delay in producing the manufactured goods to be shipped out. 

"And of course, because of that, the demand for raw materials and bulk shipping - from crude oil to iron ore or grain - those shipments are being delayed getting in. 

"It's having a drastic impact on the whole shipping chain. On the one hand it's about moving trade around, but also, crews are the lifeblood of our industry and we must protect and look after them."

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