How the Coronavirus Affects Your Business

 

IMPACT Machine Update on the Coronavirus

At Impact Machine Design, we are not just your partner in promoting your Brand, but we understand how to design, manufacture, ship and distribute products and the business behind it.  To that end, we are always on top of the latest information that affects your business.  Please find below the latest information related to the Coronavirus and the impact it may or may not have on your business.  The latest update is listed at the top for your convenience with a history of updates following this article.

UPDATE: MARCH 27, 2020

Most factories are back up and are reporting between 60-100% production ability compared to before they shut down for Chinese New Year.  Those that are now back have implemented cleaning protocols that have been mandated by the Government to reduce the risk of infection among workers.

Recent scientific reports from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can last varying amounts of time depending on the surface.  On cardboard, which a majority of promotional and consumer goods are packaged in, the virus was infectious up to 24 hours.  With this time frame, any goods shipped via ocean, air or courier would not be infectious even if exposed, which is why companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc… have not stopped shipping literally millions of packages a day with no reported cases of infection. 

NIH Website Overview

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/study-suggests-new-coronavirus-may-remain-surfaces-days

ACTUAL PUBLISHED PEER REVIEWED ARTICLE

References: Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, Tamin A, Harcourt JL, Thornburg NJ, Gerber SI, Lloyd-Smith JO, de Wit E, Munster VJ. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32182409.


Coronavirus

As many of you know, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is causing a disruption in the North American promotional products industry.  Being mainly identified in the City of Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China, it has a caused a shut down of many factories that produce the world’s promotional and retail goods.


Delays

 

As Chinese New Year was scheduled to end January 30, the Chinese Government has extended the holiday in neighbouring regions to February 9.  Our suppliers are telling us that they can’t re-open their factories till that date, with the possibility that this may get extended.

 

This, of course, will delay factories from getting running again quickly and smoothly.   Product that was already in production should see minimal delays, while those projects that were slated to begin after Chinese New Year will most likely be delayed.  Until factories are allowed to re-open, it will be difficult to determine exactly if there is a delay and the length.  We continue to stay in touch with our suppliers daily and monitor the progress of all our projects and timelines.

 

 


Can Imported Products Spread the Coronavirus?

Beyond business concerns, promo professionals have aired fears that products they import from China could spread the 2019 Novel Coronavirus if those shipments were touched or breathed upon by infected people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S.’s leading national public health institute, says it’s unlikely the virus could spread by such means.

(taken from https://www.asicentral.com/news/newsletters/promogram/january-2020/coronavirus-impact-on-the-promo-products-industry/)

“Because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” the CDC said in a statement. “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods.”

In addition, numerous freight forwarders and couriers are coming out stating that packages coming from China are not at risk at all of transmitting the Coronavirus. For example, UPS has stated that their packages are safe and that they do not need to take any additional precautions, due to the Coronavirus not surviving for long on any surface.


WHAT’S THE IMPACT?

The Coronavirus will most likely cause a delay in manufacturing and shipments depending on how long the Chinese Government keeps factories shut down.  According to the CDC, products coming from China, even if exposed to individuals with the Coronavirus, will be safe as there is no evidence to support any ability to cause infection. As we have an office in China and people on the ground, we have real time information as to what is actually occurring.  Give us a call and we would be happy to take you through the specifics and anything that may relate to your business!

EXTERNAL LINKS:

Chinese Government Website Stating Shutdown – http://www.gd.gov.cn/gdywdt/gdyw/content/post_2879851.html

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 14, 2020

While Coronavirus cases are still emerging, right now it appears as though China’s controls that they put in place has severely limited the exposure and infection around the country.  

  • The majority of provinces are now gradually resuming work.
  • Local authorities require enterprises to submit applications for approval to resume work, demonstrating their ability to enforce strict safety processes and maintain adequate hygiene.
  • Labour shortages remain a large issue for many factories, due to the local quarantine policy and that this occurred over Chinese New Year when workers usually return home.
  • Ocean terminal depots remain open for pickup and laden return as normal, with many off-dock depots resuming work except Ningbo and Yantian.
  • Shipping companies are announcing blank sailings due to the reduction in demand due to the extended holiday period.
  • Air freight space is available due to the the same reasons above even though their is limited flights departing from the region.

In speaking with our factories, they have confirmed the above and are awaiting to see their staffing numbers so that they can get a better handle on what delays will be on manufacturing.  We expect to have a better handle on manufacturing and shipping delays come Monday and Tuesday (Feb.17/18).

UPDATE: MARCH 27, 2020

Most factories are back up and are reporting between 60-100% production ability compared to before they shut down for Chinese New Year.  Those that are now back have implemented cleaning protocols that have been mandated by the Government to reduce the risk of infection among workers.

Recent scientific reports from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can last varying amounts of time depending on the surface.  On cardboard, which a majority of promotional and consumer goods are packaged in, the virus was infectious up to 24 hours.  With this time frame, any goods shipped via ocean, air or courier would not be infectious even if exposed, which is why companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc… have not stopped shipping literally millions of packages a day with no reported cased of infection. 

NIH Website Overview

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/study-suggests-new-coronavirus-may-remain-surfaces-days

ACTUAL PUBLISHED PEER REVIEWED ARTICLE

References: Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, Tamin A, Harcourt JL, Thornburg NJ, Gerber SI, Lloyd-Smith JO, de Wit E, Munster VJ. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32182409.

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