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Moving Cargo In Times Of Covid-19

Moving Cargo In Times Of Covid-19 – Practicalities And Risks

Approximately 80% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, so when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and global trade slowed dramatically, so did commercial shipping.

While the initial stages of the pandemic saw global lockdowns and even port closures, more recently ports have struggled to ensure the even flow of cargo on and off of vessels.

The world relies on the global movement of cargo, so shipping – especially the shipping of essential goods – has needed to continue despite the global pandemic. Governments and companies have had to find ways of protecting the health of employees as they continue to do essential work. Every country has a demand for food, medicines, and other supplies which rely on international maritime supply chains.

Container ships carry a varied range of cargo, from fresh and frozen food, chemicals and industrial supplies, clothing, and medicines, to electronics and furniture. It takes a range of frontline workers to keep the industry moving. Not only do ships require crews on board, but the ports and harbours need dock workers who ensure goods are loaded onto ships and safely unloaded on the other side.

Shipping companies and ports are doing what they can to ensure that workers are kept safe. A range of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements have been implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is critical that governments and businesses work together to ensure that the flow of cargo through the world’s ports remain fluid. A lack of crane operators in the port can lead to ships waiting to be unloaded, and a build-up of ships at sea. Backlogs at warehouses and employee shortages can lead to issues in port. The shortages of truck drivers, and rescheduled or canceled deliveries have caused cargo owners to leave cargo at the ports. Bottlenecks are caused when the delicate supply chain is disrupted and can have a knock-on effect, ultimately creating problems in another area of the chain.

Shipping companies are working to ensure that backlogs are not created by extended transit times and storage in transit.

How are mobile cranes involved in moving shipping containers?

A mobile crane that lifts and relocates shipping containers is driven by an operator. This operator will most likely have an assistant due to the complexity of the job and, a rigger in order to ensure that the load is hooked onto the crane with accuracy and there is no room for error. The container is lifted off the ship and placed on either a truck or a trailer on the dock. The truck can then move the container to the storage yard or to its final destination. The shipping crane can also be used to transfer containers from the dock to the ship.

What Are The Risks Of Moving Cargo In Times Of Covid-19?

The primary risk of Covid-19 is the human element. The health, safety, and lives of all employees involved in the shipping process need to be looked after.

Companies are putting measures in place to ensure that ports can remain operating safely. Employee health and safety protocols and following regulations are key.

Government lockdowns and restrictions have caused issues in supply chains, affecting deliveries and causing delays. This can lead to cargo being physically damaged or spoiled, especially in the case of perishable foods. For perishable goods that need to be stored for longer, extra checks for temperature, humidity and quality need to take place.

Businesses may face contractual penalties when cargo is delayed. In some cases, businesses may look at using alternative means of transport to avoid penalties and delays.

For further information on the usage of mobile cranes in the cargo, shipping or maritime industry, please contact our specialist team.

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