The spread of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the U.S. continues to be our main concern as we are seeing more closures, postponements, cancellations and restrictions placed on all citizens as our government officials are doing their best to reduce the exposure to the masses. We are continuing to monitor this situation and try to keep you updated on the transportation impact.
For ocean export shipments, the same issues we were faced with the last couple of weeks continue to be a problem. There is limited to no space on vessels from ports throughout the U.S. as outbound vessels are still very overbooked at this time. We continue to ask you to plan your shipments in advance and request your bookings as far ahead as possible. Carriers are now also increasing their rates to various destinations. We have mentioned possible booking cancellation fees and while not implemented yet, we do believe we will be seeing these charges applied in the coming weeks ahead.
Air export shipments continue to be limited due to space issues and travel bans. We are still seeing many airline carriers suspending services to multiple locations especially those that are currently on nationwide lockdown like Italy and Spain. Airline premiums have skyrocketed as there is limited space and aircrafts available during this time.
Our import shipments are feeling the impacts of the virus as well. With many Europe countries shutdown at this time and our agent’s working from home, we are seeing some shipments are delayed from leaving origin ports. Airline carriers have limited space for cargo coming into the U.S. with certain commodities taking precedence. China locations are now starting to reopen and we are starting to see bookings from these areas. As cargo is starting the ocean transport, we fully expect to see port congestion and equipment shortages in late April as equipment imbalances continue to be a problem.
We continue to ask you to first, keep safe and plan ahead. Communication is most important during this time and the more information we receive in advance regarding your booking requests, change in warehouse schedules, etc, the more we can work to plan your shipments accordingly. This situation continues to be extremely fluid. We will continue to monitor this ongoing situation providing you with the latest industry updates as they become available.
Thank you for your continued support.