As we will be giving you an update on the developments of the coronavirus and the affects it continues to take on the shipping industry, we also want to advise you have the steps we have taken as a company. Our HR management team continues to monitor the situation and has taken steps to ensure the wellness and safety of our employees while we continue to conduct day to day business. The safety of our employees and their families continue to be our utmost priority. Our global network remains committed to proving the excellent service and support that you have come to reply on and are here to answer any of your shipping questions and concerns.
The latest update from Italy is their government has put the entire country on lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus. In the US, we have seen many conferences and events, both international and domestic, being cancelled to protect those that had planned to attend. The US surgeon general urges Americans to visit the website coronavirus.org for guidelines and advice.
For ocean export shipments, the vessel sailing delays continue pushing back the originally scheduled voyage by over a week and even longer for some destination seaports. Some ocean carriers are overbooked to the point of the first available sailings being mid-April. We had mentioned in our last blog the ocean carriers will be charging booking cancellation fees and at this time while we have not seen these charges, they are still advising that these fees are possible. Please keep this in mind when you are requesting your bookings.
For air freight shipments from the US, airline carriers continue to reduce, suspend, and cancel flights. Airline bookings have slumped as the outbreak has spread beyond China to the US and dozens of other countries. American Airlines released a statement today advising they will be cutting flights in response to the decreased travel demand due to the coronavirus. The airline CEOs have stated their companies have stepped up cleaning procedures to help protect passengers and employees from the virus.
On the import side, there have been some delays on outbound vessels, but the impact has been minimal compared to the exports from the US.
We are being advised by many companies they are reducing company travel during this time as well. We will continue to monitor this ongoing situation and will provide you with the latest updates as they become available. Best wishes and safety to you all.