China goes back to work: there are still logistics’ slowdowns, but the first trains are leaving for the West
The coronavirus emergency is still active but there are some first positive signs for a return to the normal activities in some areas of China after the forced extension of the Chinese New Year break (here’s a useful infographic on reopenings by region).
However, regional travel restrictions still mean that some employees will not be able to return to work immediately, particularly migrant workers from Hubei, the region of Wuhan, where most coronavirus infections have been reported (COVID-19).
In a certainly complex scenario, there are signs of recovery. First of all, the restart of train departures, which are now numerous and already full until the end of February, both WestBound (import) and EastBound (export).
In particular, services have been resumed for WestBound trains and for EastBound the main repercussion regards trains arriving on Wuhan.
An evolving logistics situation
In particular, the railway hubs of Hefei, Xiamen, Chengdu and Chongqing are among the most active in terms of train departures.
To deepen these scenarios, here are the scheduled departures, both WestBound and EastBound.
Despite a complex and constantly evolving situation, rail freight seems to be the least affected by the complications brought by the coronavirus emergency.
Road transport is the one most affected by this situation, because on one hand many Chinese drivers have not been able to return from their holidays and are blocked in their hometowns, on the other hand severe traffic limits have been introduced.
Moreover, air transport is witness of a massive price increase due to the lack of space for goods and maritime transport reports a sharp increase in ship cancellations (so-called blank sailings) and in Italy there’s an indicative reduction of 20% of containers in transit in our main strategic ports, such as Genoa, Salerno and Trieste.
For all these reasons, many goods are moving by rail. If this trend continues, the rail freight sector could see an increase in volumes once the supply chain will be operational again.
The latest report on the health condition
After the report published by the China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 18, we have a more complete view of the situation: according to the data provided, in about 81% of cases the disease resulted moderated, especially putting older people at risk or those with already critical clinical conditions.
The researchers classified 13.8% of the cases as serious and 4.7% critical. It was also found a higher risk for men than for women.
However, it should be emphasized that it takes time to have more detailed forecasts and to be able to better analyze the progress of the epidemic case.
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